|Year of Birth:||1964|
René Pape (born 4 September 1964) is a German operatic bass.
René Pape was born in Dresden, then part of East Germany. His mother is a hairdresser and his father a chef. His parents divorced when he was two years old and 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 from 1974 to 1981 with Dresdner Kreuzchor (he even appeared as one of the Three Boys in Die Zauberflöte and the Dresden Conservatory in the early '80s. He had his debut with the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden in 1988, and achieved international recognition in 1991, when Sir Georg Solti cast him as Sarastro in a production of Die Zauberflöte, a role he sang again the same year at La Scala in Milan under Solti's direction. He sang in Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten ("The Seasons") with the Orchestre de Paris and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, both under Solti (1992), then Don Fernando (Fidelio), the Speaker and Sarastro with the Vienna State Opera during the 1992-93 season, King Philip (Don Carlo) in Basle Switzerland) and had his Bayreuth debut under the baton of James Levine as Fasolt in Das Rheingold in 1994. The year 1995 saw his debut with the Metropolitan Opera, as the Night Watchman in Die Meistersinger, where he has performed practically every year since (Fasolt and King of Egypt (Aida) in 1997, the Old Hebrew (Samson and Dalila) in 1998, King Marke (Tristan) in 1999, Escamillo (Carmen) and Rocco (Fidelio) in 2000, Oreste (Strauss's Elektra) in 2002, Gurnemanz (Parsifal) in 2003, Leporello (Don Giovanni) and King Marke in 2004, Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust in 2005, King Heinrich, King Philip, and Sarastro in 2006, Banquo in Macbeth in 2008, Fasolt, Hunding in Die Walküre" in 2009, Boris Godunov in 2010). About his role as King Marke, Anthony Tommasini wrote in the New York Times' November 30, 2008 issue : Few singers have conveyed Marke's feelings of betrayal by his beloved nephew Tristan with such lofty, noble anguish. René Pape's King Marke is a magnificent and dignified performance, sung with the utmost compassion and with an enviable richness and range of bass tone, wrote Michael Kennedy in the Sunday Telegraph on 25 May 2003. As Heinrich, René Pape displayed what must be the most sumptuous operatic bass in the world, wrote Rupert Christiansen in the Daily Telegraph on 5 June 2003.