Obituary: Tenor Peter Schreier Dies

By Francisco Salazar

Opera singer and conductor Peter Schreier, who won fame at the Salzburg festival and Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, has died in Dresden, Germany.

The tenor, who was 84, died on Wednesday on Dec. 25, 2019.

Schreier was born July 29, 1935 in Meissen, Saxony, Germany when he spent his first years in the small village of Gauernitz, where his father was a teacher, cantor and organist.

At the age of 10, Schreier entered the boarding school of the famous Dresden boys’ choir, the Dresdner Kreuzchor where conductor Rudolf Mauersberger recognized Schreier’s talent and let him sing many solo parts.

At 16, Schreier became a tenor and started working privately before before going to the Dresden Academy of Music.

He would make his professional debut in August 1959 in the role of the First Prisoner in “Fidelio” and would later garner success as Belmonte in “Die Entführung aus dem Serail” and Tamino in “The Magic Flute.”

His big break would come in 1963 when he made his debut at the the Berlin State Opera at Unter den Linden and became an annual guest at the Wiener Staatsoper in 1966. Other major debuts would come including the Bayreuth Festival as well as the Salzburg Festival and the Teatro alla Scala.

In June 2000, Schreier left the opera stage with his last role as Tamino in “The Magic Flute.” In 2005, he ended his singing career and remained an active conductor and mentor.

He went on to make numerous recordings from works by Bach, Schubert, Berlioz, Wagner, Hugo Wolf, Brahms, and Mozart. He also won awards including the Kammersänger and Honorary membership of the Musikverein Wien.