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Bär, Olaf

Bär, Olaf

Bär, Olaf, prominent German baritone; b. Dresden, Dec 19, 1957. He sang in the Kreuzchor (1966–75) and studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden. In 1982 he won first prize in the Dvorak vocal competition in Karlovy Vary, and, in 1983, first prize in the vocal competition sponsored by the East German opera houses and the Walter Grimer lieder competition in London. In 1981 he made his operatic debut in Dresden, and from 1985 to 1991 he was a principal member of the State Opera there. He made his British debut in a recital at London’s Wigmore Hall in 1983, returning to London in 1985 to make his British operatic debut as Strauss’s Harlekin at Covent Garden. In 1986 he appeared as Ariadne at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and as Papageno at the Vienna State Opera and at La Scala in Milan. On March 19, 1987, he made his U.S. debut as Christ in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Solti and the Chicago Sym. Orch., and that same year sang the role of the Count in Capriccio at the Glyndebourne Festival. On April 18, 1991, he made his N.Y. recital debut at Alice Tully Hall. He portrayed Mozart’s Count at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam in 1993. He made his U.S. operatic debut as that composer’s Papageno in Chicago in 1996. In addition to his roles in operas by Mozart and Strauss, he has won distinction as a concert and lieder artist.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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