Kunz, Erich, Austrian bass-baritone; b. Vienna, May 20, 1909; d. there, Sept. 8, 1995. He was a student of Theo Lierhammer and Hans Duhan at the Vienna Academy of Music. In 1933 he made his operatic debut as Osmin in Opava, and then sang in Plauen (1936–37) and Breslau (1937–41). In 1940 he became a member of the Vienna State Opera, and sang with the company during its visit to London’s Covent Garden in 1947. He appeared as Beckmesser at the Bayreuth Festivals (1943-44; 1951) and as Guglielmo at the Glyndebourne Festivals (1948, 1950). On Nov. 26, 1952, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Leporello, and remained on its roster until 1954. Kunz was greatly esteemed in buffo roles, as an operetta singer, and as an interpreter of popular Viennese songs. His most successful operatic roles were Papageno, Leporello, Figaro, and Beckmesser.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire