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Kurt Moll (born April 11, 1938) is a German operatic bass.

Biography

Moll was born in Buir, near Cologne, Germany. As a child, he played the cello and hoped to become a great cellist. He also sang in the school choir, and the conductor encouraged him to concentrate on singing. He studied voice at the Köln Hochschule für Musik with Emmy Müller.

He joined the Cologne Opera at 20 and remained until 1961. He then sang for three years in Mainzmarker and five years in Wuppertalmarker. In 1969, he accepted an engagement with the Hamburg State Opera, and he then sang in all the major opera houses of Europe.

He made his US debut with the San Francisco Opera as Gurnemanz in Richard Wagner's Parsifal in 1974. His Metropolitan Opera debut followed four years later, when he sang the Landgraf in Tannhäuser, Rocco in Fidelio, and Sparafucile in Rigoletto. From that time he has performed all over the world. He retired from stage in 2006. His last performance was the role of Nachtwächter in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in the Münchner Opern-Festspiele.

He has made innumerable recordings of opera, sacred music, and lieder with many of the great conductors and piano-accompanists. In 1991, he won a Grammy Award for his recording of Das Rheingold. He can be seen in many roles on video, including Sarastro (twice), Osmin, the Commendatore, Dr. Bartolo (Mozart), Hunding, Gurnemanz, and Baron Ochs (several times).

His voice was notable for its range, a true infra-bass including full, resonant low and very-low notes with relaxed vibrato; also for its unusual combination of extreme size and purring, contrabassoon-like timbre. Although he was large enough for most of Wagner's noble-bass roles, he was not a thunderer and he never performed as Hagen, Hans Sachs, nor Wotan, nor as Boris Godunov. His interpretations tended to be restrained and intelligent, even in buffo roles like Baron Ochs and Osmin. His recording of Schubert's philosophical "Lieder fur Bass" set a new standard for these songs.

He lives in Cologne with his family.

References

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