Grave in the Heiligenstädter Friedhof cemetery
|Died||27 October 2000 (aged 71)|
|Alma mater||University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna|
|Christa Ludwig |
|You may hear Walter Berry performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem Mass in D minor K. 626 with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Fritz Wunderlich, Eberhhard Wachter, Leontyne Price, Hilde Rossel-Majdan in 1960 Here on archive.org|
Walter Berry (8 April 1929 – 27 October 2000) was an Austrian lyric bass-baritone who enjoyed a prominent career in opera. He has been cited as one of several exemplary operatic bass-baritones of his era.
Walter Berry was born in Vienna. He studied voice at the Vienna Music Academy and made his stage debut with the Vienna State Opera in 1947. He became a permanent member of the company in 1950, remaining with that ensemble for his entire career, although he undertook frequent guest appearances elsewhere in Europe and in the UK.
In 1952 Berry made his first appearance at the Salzburg Festival, where he subsequently performed on a regular basis. While in Salzburg, he collaborated with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in a production of Wolfganag Amadeus Mozart's opera Don Giovanni with Leontyne Price and Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. While appearing in Vienna and Salzburg he interpreted an extensive operatic repertoire which included over one hundred roles. He received high praise for his interpretations of Franz Schubert's lieder as well as songs by Gustav Mahler. Included among his acclaimed renditions of sacred works were: Johann Sebastian Bach's "Passions" and Ludwig von Beethoven's Missa Solemnis.
He made many memorable appearances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s in such roles as Barak in Die Frau ohne Schatten, Telramund in Lohengrin, Wotan in Die Walküre, Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, Don Pizarro in Fidelio, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, the Music Master in Ariadne auf Naxos and Leporello in Don Giovanni. He sang his last Barak on 18 November 1984.
Berry's other signature roles included: Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Figaro in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and Bluebeard in Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle. He was also a noted interpreter of lieder and was accompanied often at recitals by the German pianist Sebastian Peschko. Berry also appeared in choral works. Performing in light-hearted operettas, particularly Die Fledermaus, was one of his pleasures. Astonishingly, Berry never appeared in London in the role with which he perhaps became most closely linked, Papageno, despite an operatic career that spanned more than 40 years.
Berry lent his talents to many highly regarded recordings, including the classic Otto Klemperer recordings of The Magic Flute (as Papageno) and Fidelio (as Don Pizarro), both for EMI. He also recorded Johann Sebastian Bach's sacred oratorio St. Matthew Passion for Columbia Records with Otto Klemperer and the Philharmonia Orchestra in 1961 and years later for Deutsche Grammophon with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic in 1972.
Also included among his recordings are performances in: Béla Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle (London Records), Beethoven's Missa Solemnis (Deutsche Grammophone), Franz Josef Haydn's The Creation (Deutsche Grammophon), Mozart's Marriage of Figaro (Angel Seraphim) and Mozart's Bastien und Bastienne (Philips World Series).
Critics at Billboard magazine noted that his collaboration with his wife Christa Ludwig in a recording of Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle was delivered with dramatic force and strength. In 1967 Billboard's critics also praised his recording with Ludwig for RCA Victor of Richard Strauss's Elektra, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Der Rosenkavalier as outstanding and worthy of Strauss' best traditions. Berry's definitive recordings have earned him the distinction of being cited as one of the truly exemplary bass baritones and basses in opera.
Berry can be seen on DVD as Don Pizarro, opposite Ludwig, James King, and Josef Greindl; and as Papageno with Pilar Lorengar as Pamina; also as Leporello opposite Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Josef Greindl, in a German translation performance of Don Giovanni.
|You may hear Walter Berry as Dr. Falke in Johann Strauss II's operatta Die Fledermaus with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Ettore Bastianini, Teresa Berganza, Jussi Bjorling, Hilde Gueden, Birgit Nilsson, Leontyne Price, Renata Tebaldi, Joan Sutherland, Eberhhard Wachter and Ljuba Welitsch in the mid 1960s Here on archive.org|