Walter Kreppel

Bass singer perfect in Wagnerian roles

Walter Kreppel, opera singer: born Nuremberg, Germany 3 June 1923; died 18 October 2003.

The German bass Walter Kreppel was a member of the Vienna State Opera from 1960 until he retired in the mid-1970s. He also sang frequently at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and in Berlin but, during the first 10 years of his singing career, he served an apprenticeship in smaller German opera houses.

His warm, black-toned voice and sympathetic personality were perfect for Wagnerian roles such as Pogner in Die Meistersinger and King Marke in Tristan und Isolde, but he also sang in several Italian operas, notably as the Padre Guardiano in Verdi's La forza del destino. Another favourite role was Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, which he sang at Covent Garden.

Kreppel was born in Nuremberg, where he studied at the Conservatory, and where he made his début in 1945 (when he was only 22) as Tommaso in Eugen d'Albert's Tiefland. In 1948 he moved to Wurzburg and from there to Heidelberg, Gelsenkirchen, Hanover and then to Frankfurt, where he remained until 1959. At the Vienna State Opera, his earlier roles included Ramfis, the High Priest in Aida, and Rocco in Fidelio, which became the role he sang most frequently in Vienna.

In 1962 he sang Sarastro at Covent Garden, and later that year Fasolt in Das Rheingold at Bayreuth. Though not exactly a sympathetic character, Fasolt would at least prefer to keep Freia, the Goddess of Youth, rather than exchange her for the Nibelung Gold, as his brother, Giant Fafner, insists. The following year Kreppel made his American début at San Francisco as the Padre Guardiano.

Back in Vienna Kreppel had a new role as one of the four Tempters in the first performance in German of Ildebrando Pizzetti's L'assassinio nella cattedrale. Becket was sung by Hans Hotter, and the scene where Becket resists the Tempters was specially noticed for its dramatic strength. Kreppel again worked with Hotter as a delegate to the Council of Trent in a revival of Pfitzner's Palestrina, directed by Hotter, who also sang Cardinal Borromeo after the opening performance.

After a visit to Montreal with the Vienna company for Expo 67, when he sang the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, in 1968 he went to the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, for King Marke in Tristan und Isolde. In 1972 he sang Wotan in Das Rheingold at Graz, receiving excellent notices.

In 1973 in Vienna he took a minor role in Schoenberg's Moses und Aron then, after singing Ramfis and the Commendatore, retired.

Elizabeth Forbes

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander in the leaked trailer for Zoolander 2
film
Sport
footballArsenal take the Community Shield thanks to a sensational strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arts and Entertainment
Gemma Chan as synth Anita in Humans
film
News
Keeping it friendly: Tom Cruise on ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ensemble cast: Jamie McCartney with ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’
artBritish artist Jamie McCartney explains a work that is designed to put women's minds at rest
News
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an I...

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen