Josef Metternich

The German baritone Josef Metternich (b. 1916) studied in his native Cologne and later Berlin and then sang as a chorus member in both Cologne and Bonn. His solo début in 1941 was in Lohengrin in Berlin. In the postwar years his reputation grew with appearances throughout Germany in both the German and Italian repertory. His British début was in the title rôle of Der fliegende Holländer in 1951, followed by engagements at La Scala, Milan and the Vienna State Opera. His first American appearance was at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York as Don Carlo in La forza del destino in 1953. Joining the Staatsoper in Munich in 1954, Metternich created the rôle of Johannes Keppler in Hindemith's Die Harmonie der Welt in 1957 as well as singing at the opening of the rebuilt Nationaltheater in 1963 when he portrayed Kothner in Die Meistersinger. His many recordings display a vibrant voice, especially suited to the Italian repertoire.