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Wilhelm Schwinghammer is one of the leading basses of the younger generation. His large repertoire ranges from roles of the Baroque repertoire to contemporary music and covers all important roles of his voice catergory such as Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), König Heinrich (Lohengrin), König Marke (Tristan und Isolde), Landgraf Hermann (Tannhäuser), Daland (Der fliegende Holländer), Fasolt (Das Rheingold), Rocco (Fidelio), Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Orest (Elektra) and Baron von Ochs auf Lerchenau (Der Rosenkavalier).
The bass has appeared at many of the major opera houses such as Munich, Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, Lyon, Milan, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago and at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Wilhelm Schwinghammer also has established his reputation as a concert singer, he regularly appears with renowned orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Concerto Köln. For opera and concerts he works with Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Kirill Petrenko, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle, Marek Janowski, Sebastian Weigle, Philippe Herreweghe and many other well-known conductors.
In 2005 he made his debut at the Salzburg Festival as Dr. Grenvil in Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon. In 2011 he returned to the Salzburg Easter Festival for Salome under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. He also is a regular guest at the Bayreuth Festival where he made his acclaimed debut in 2012 as König Heinrich in Lohengrin, a role he interpreted at the Festival again in the following years. In 2014 and 2015 he returned to the Bayreuth Festival as König Heinrich but he also sung the role of Fasolt in Das Rheingold directed by Frank Castorf. 2019 he will return to the Festival to sing in the new production of Tannhäuser. Among his recent successes are Fasolt in a new production of the Ring directed by David Pountney at the Lyric Opera Chicago, the title role in the new production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro directed by Stefan Herheim and Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, both at Hamburg State Opera.
More recent important engagements include:
Gurrelieder in Madrid, Zauberflöte (Sarastro) in Valencia, Elektra (Orest) in Toronto, new production Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Herr Reich), conducted by Daniel Barenboim, at Berlin State Opera, Der fliegende Holländer (Daland) in Bilbao.
Season 2020/21 includes Fasolt/Rheingold in the concertant Ring cycle at the Opéra de Paris, Zauberflöte/Sarastro and Tannhäuser/Landgraf at the Berlin State Opera, Parsifal/Gurnemanz in Brussels.
Wilhelm Schwinghammer was born in Bavaria and started his musical education at the music college of the famous ›Regensburger Domspatzen‹ . He studied at the conservatory in Berlin (Universität der Künste) with Harald Stamm and took master classes with Kurt Moll and Marjana Lipovšek. In 2003 he was accepted in Hamburg State Opera’s Young Artist Program.
In 2006 he became am member of the permanent cast of Hamburg State Opera, since 2017 he has been working as a freelance artist. A recipient of many awards, he won the prestigious ARD Music Competition in 2009 and also received the audience award.
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