Polish bass-baritone Tomasz Konieczny was granted the honorary title of Kammersänger, or “chamber singer,” on stage following his Jan. 16 performance as The Wanderer in Wagner’s “Siegfried.”
The performance also featured KS Stephen Gould as Siegfried, Iréne Theorin as Brünnhilde, Jochen Schmeckenbecher as Alberich, KS Herwig Pecoraro as Mime, Monika Bohinec as Erda, and Sorin Coliban as Fafner. The ensemble was led under the baton of Axel Kober.
The title of Kammersänger is reserved for only the most distinguished singers and is granted by the Austrian and German governments. Jürgen Meindl, representing Austrian Chancellery Minister of Culture Gernot Blümel, welcomed Konieczny to the “‘exclusive club’ of the Kammersänger,” noting that it is artists like him who have kept Vienna the cultural metropolis that it is to this day.
Director of the Wiener Staatsoper Dominique Meyer praised not only Konieczny’s talents but his dedication to his art and loyalty to the Vienna State Opera, where he has performed 21 roles in 162 performances of 17 different operas.
Paraphrasing the character Alberich, Meyer said of Konieczny: “Everybody sees you, wherever you are!” He continued, “You have often saved us without the public even knowing, for example, by driving your car from Milan to Vienna overnight to sing Wotan the next day.”
Konieczny, who debuted at the Weiner Staatsoper in 2008 for the Ring Cycle said, “the Vienna State Opera is my artistic home! I would like to thank you, Dominique Meyer, for giving me so many fantastic tasks – that you gave me the opportunity to join the best artists in the world, the best choir in the world and the best orchestra in the world…and singing for the best audience in the world!”
Konieczny’s next opera at the Wiener Staatsoper is the role of Mandryka in Strauss’ “Arabella.”