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Title | Hans Hotter: Memoirs
Author | Hans Hotter
Forewords | Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Zubin Metha
Publisher | Northeastern University Press
Hans Hotter (1909-2003) was one of opera's most influential and profoundly moving artists of the twentieth century. His imposing frame and austere, high-browed profile made him an ideal figure of tragic dignity, unequaled in his era as Wotan, Amfortas the Dutchman, Scarpia and the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo, and several Strauss roles, including three world premieres of that composer's works. Hotter made his debut at age twenty-one in Troppau, Germany (now Oppava, Czech Republic), and by the age of thirty was a leading artist at the prestigious Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Although he never joined the Nazi party and avoided appearances at Bayreuth while under Nazi control, Hotter remained active in German theaters throughout the war. He achieved his vocal prime after the war and was a featured performer in Munich, Vienna, Bayreuth, New York, San Francisco, London's Covent Garden, and Salzburg. In addition to his long and acclaimed opera career, Hotter was also a distinguished stage director, teacher, and an incomparable lieder singer, celebrated for his mastery of Schubert's song cycle Die Winterresise.
Translator and editor, Donald Arthur conducted a series of interviews with Hotter during the final years of his life. The result is not merely an English translation of Hotter's memoirs (originally published as "Der Mai War Mir Gewogen" in Germany in 1996), but a significantly more critical, probing, and engaging account of the great singer's life. In particular, Hotter now confronts both his personal resistance to, and professional concessions toward, the Third Reich, and he speaks in greater detail about his musical and theatrical insights and his associations with such German luminaries as Richard Strauss, Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer, and Clemens Krauss, to name but a few. Accompanied by more than seventy photographs, some never before published, this volume is a cause for celebration among his fans and general opera lovers everywhere.