Gerd Nienstedt

was not only one of the most distinguished bass-baritones of his age, but also worked as a director, theatre director and professor of singing at the Conservatory of the City of Vienna. Born in Hanover in 1932, he studied with Otto Köhler in his native city. In 1954, he received his first commitment in Bremerhaven, where he held his debut as King Heinrich in Wagner’s Lohengrin. Commitments followed in Gelsenkirchen, Wiesbaden and Cologne, before he became a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera in 1964, remaining one until 1973. From 1962 to 1975, he held regular guest appearances at the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, there performing Hunding (Die Walküre), Gunther (Götterdämmerung), Klingsor (Parsifal) and Kothner (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg). In 1965, he was one of the soloists in the Cologne world premiere of B.A. Zimmermann’s legendary opera Die Soldaten. He died of the consequences of an operation in Vienna in 1993.