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Wilhelm Schwinghammer is one of the finest 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 category 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«). On 3 October 2019 he made his role debut as Herr Reich in the new production of Otto Nicolai’s comic-fantastic opera »Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor« at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin under the musical direction of Daniel Barenboim. In November 2020 he sang Fasolt in »Das Rheingold« at the Opéra national de Paris, due to the corona pandemic, the planned »Ring« cycle was only performed in a concert version for a radio show.
The bass has appeared at many of the major opera houses such as Munich, Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Vienna, Lyon, Milan, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Toronto 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 operas and concerts he works with renowned conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Kirill Petrenko, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle, Simone Young, Marek Janowski, Sebastian Weigle and Philippe Herreweghe.
Wilhelm Schwinghammer’s major successes include the role of King Heinrich in Hans Neuenfels’ production of »Lohengrin« at the Bayreuth Festival, the title role in Stefan Herheim’s new production of »Le Nozze di Figaro« and Osmin (»Die Entführung aus dem Serail«) at the Hamburg State Opera, as well as Fasolt in the new »Ring des Nibelungen« at the Lyric Opera Chicago. In 2005, he made his debut in the role of Dr. Grenvil at the Salzburg Festival alongside Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon in »La Traviata«. In 2011 he returned to Salzburg for the Easter Festival for »Salome« under the musical direction of Sir Simon Rattle. Outstanding recent projects include »Gurrelieder« in Madrid, »Die Zauberflöte« (Sarastro) in Valencia, »Elektra« (Orest) in Toronto, Mozart’s Mass in C minor at La Scala in Milan and »Der fliegende Holländer« (Daland) in Bilbao. At the Bayreuth Festival, Wilhelm Schwinghammer has been a regular guest since 2012; in addition to the role of King Heinrich, he has interpreted the role of Fasolt there several times. In the summer of 2019 he returned to the Bayreuth Festival for the new production of »Tannhäuser«, and again in 2021.
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 a 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.