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René Pape (born 4 September 1964 in Dresdenmarker, Germanymarker) is an opera singer, a bass. His mother is a hairdresser and his father a chef. They were divorced, when he was two years old. He sometimes lived with his grandmother, who opened the way for his interest in music. His maternal grandfather was an operetta tenor.

Pape received his musical education with the Dresdner Kreuzchor and the Dresden Conservatory. He debuted with the Staatsoper Unter den Lindenmarker in 1988, and achieved international recognition in 1995, when Sir Georg Solti cast him as Sarastro in a production of Die Zauberflöte. The year 1995 also saw his debut with the Metropolitan Opera, where he has performed every year since.

His repertoire includes virtually all the great German bass roles, as well as Ramfis in Aida, Filippo II in Don Carlo, Méphistophélès in Faust, and the title role of Boris Godunov.

Pape performs regularly in opera houses, opera festivals such as Bayreuthmarker and Glyndebournemarker, concert halls, as well as with major symphony orchestras around the world.

Pape made his film debut as Sarastro in Kenneth Branagh's The Magic Flute, which premiered simultaneously at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festivalmarker and the 2006 Venice Film Festival.

In the 2008-2009 season Pape performed at the Metropolitan Opera in Tristan und Isolde in the role of King Marke. According to New York Times' Anthony Tommasini (November 30, 2008), "Few singers have conveyed Marke’s feelings of betrayal by his beloved nephew Tristan with such lofty, noble anguish". He also appeared as Hunding in Die Walküre and Fasolt in Das Rheingold in Wagner's Ring Cycle. "Singing with virile sound and chilling power, Mr. Pape made Fasolt seem a worthy and dangerous partner in the payment negotiations with Wotan", wrote Mr. Tommasini in the New York Times on April 28, 2009.

Pape is also known for his performances of the song cycle Mein Herz brennt, composed by Torsten Rasch and based on the music of the heavy metal band Rammstein.

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