|Year of Birth:||1937|
Franz Grundheber (born 27 September 1937) is a German operatic baritone. At the Hamburg State Opera, he performed over 150 roles from 1966. His voice is flexible enough to sing Italian opera as well as Wagner parts and contemporary opera; he is a stage presence in acting and singing. He has performed at major international opera houses and is known for his performance of the title role of Alban Berg's Wozzeck, filmed for DVD in 1994 in a production staged by Patrice Chéreau.
Grundheber was born in Trier and graduated from the Max-Planck-Gymnasium in 1959. He subsequently enrolled in the Air Force of the Bundeswehr, where he spent three years. After studying in Hamburg, he embarked upon a two-year scholarship under Margaret Harshaw at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and spent a summer at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.
In 1966, Grundheber joined the Hamburg State Opera where he became a prolific performer. He first sang smaller parts in different types of operas. On 21 December 1968, he performed in the premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti's Help, Help, the Globolinks!. Even when moving to Wagnerian roles, he took care to stay flexible. With some 150 roles to his name, he was named Kammersänger in 1986 and was appointed an honorary member in 2006.
Major parts have included Verdi characters Simon Boccanegra, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Amonasro in Aida and Jago in Otello, Wagner parts Holländer and Amfortas in Parsifal, the Strauss parts Orest in Elektra and Barak in Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Dr. Schön in Alban Berg's Lulu.