Eberhard Wächter

should really have been called ‘Baron von Wächter’, had aristocratic titles not been banned in Austria in 1919 (they still are today). For the singer hailed from an aristocratic family of scholars and diplomats, his forebears also including the German foreign minister from 1910 to 1912, Alfred von Kiderlen-Wächter. Eberhard Wächter (who later spelled his name the English way Waechter, above all in the record field) was born in Vienna in 1929 as the son of a musicologist and studied with Elisabeth Rado at the music academy in his native city. In 1953, he held his debut as Silvio in Leoncavallo‘s Der Bajazzo at the Vienna Volksoper and in 1955 he moved to the Vienna State Opera, where he also became a member of the legendary Viennese Mozart Ensemble. Of course, he also performed the great Mozart roles such as Don Giovanni and The Count in Le nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival. The baritone also excelled in Wagner roles, e.g. in Bayreuth as Amfortas (Parsifal), Kurwenal (Tristan and Isolde) and above all as Wolfram (Tannhäuser). But he also acquired a reputation with Verdi roles such as the protagonist in Simon Boccanegra, performing it at the major opera houses throughout the world. In 1987, he became the director of the Vienna Volksoper, assuming the same function at the Vienna State Opera in 1991. In 1992, he died very unexpectedly from a heart attack while running through the woods.