Obituary: Legendary Bass Kurt Moll Passes Away At 78

By Francisco Salazar

Kurt Moll has passed away at the age of 78.

The German bass was recognized as one of the finest singers of the 20th century and was known for his work in the German repertoire.

Before becoming a singer, Moll trained to become a professional cellist. At the time he was also in the school choir and the conductor encouraged him to concentrate on singing. After graduating from the Köln Hochschule für Musik with Emmy Müller, he joined the Cologne Opera at 20 and remained until 1961.

He would go on to make debuts at Mainz and  Wuppertal. In 1969, he accepted an engagement with the Hamburg State Opera, which led him to the biggest houses in Europe. With popularity on the rise, Moll made his US debut at the San Francisco Opera in 1974 where he sang Gurnemanz in Wagner’s “Parsifal.” He would later go on to make his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1978 where he would perform with frequency until 2005. Among the operas he performed there were “Parsifal,” “Tannhauser,” “Otello,” Der Rosenkavalier,” “Fidelio” and “Die Zauberflote,” which was the last work he performed with the company.

Thankfully Moll left a huge discography that included recordings of “Rigoletto,” “Die Zauberflote,” “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Lohengrin,” “Elektra,” “Tristan und Isolde” and “Der Rosenkavalier.” He also participated in the video recordings of the Metropolitan Opera’s “Ring Cycle” by Otto Schenk.