|Year of Birth:||1909|
|Year of Death:||2003|
Hans Hotter (19 January 1909 – 8 December 2003) was a German operatic bass-baritone. He was extremely tall and his appearance was striking. His voice and diction were equally recognisable.
Born in Offenbach am Main, Hesse, Hotter studied with Matthäus Roemer in Munich. He worked as an organist and choirmaster before making his operatic debut in Opava in 1930.
He performed in Germany and Austria under the Nazi regime, avoiding pressure on performers to join the Nazi Party, and made some appearances outside the country, including concerts under the baton of Bruno Walter in Amsterdam, who advised him that if Hotter could not leave his family members he had little alternative but remain in Germany. Hotter was unable to pursue an international career until his Covent Garden debut in 1947. After that, he sang in all the major opera houses of Europe. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as the title role in The Flying Dutchman in 1950. In four seasons at the Met, he performed 35 times in 13 roles, almost all Wagnerian.
Probably Hotter's best known vocal achievement was his Wotan in Der Ring des Nibelungen, beginning with the Rheingold Wotan and ending with the Siegfried Wanderer, which he first sang in the German provinces in his early 20s, and adding the Walküre shortly thereafter at the German theatre in Prague; he played the roles until the mid-1960s, by which time his voice underwent a brief crisis owing to severe asthma, causing him to miss the first season of the post-war Bayreuth Festival in 1951, but he sang there for several years starting in 1952. His interpretation of Wotan was first recorded in a 1930s studio version of Act II of Die Walküre. In Die Walküre and Siegfried he was recorded in Decca's famous Ring Cycle in the early 1960s, conducted by Georg Solti and produced by John Culshaw. His interpretation of the role of Wotan was also captured in live recordings at the Bayreuth Festival conducted by Clemens Krauss and Joseph Keilberth in the mid-1950s. He also directed a complete Ring at Covent Garden from 1961 to 1964. His portrayal of Gurnemanz in Parsifal was preserved on record in several of Hans Knappertsbusch's live recordings from Bayreuth.