Kusche, Benno, German bass-baritone; b. Freiburg im Breisgau, Jan. 30, 1916. He studied in Karlsruhe with his mother and in Freiburg im Breisgau with Fritz Harlan. He made his operatic debut in Koblenz in 1938, then sang in Augsburg (1939–44) and subsequently became a leading member of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (1946). He made his debut at London’s Covent Garden as Beckmesser (1952); chose that same role for his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. on Dec. 27, 1971. He was made a Bavarian Kammersänger in 1955. His notable roles included Papageno, Figaro, Leporello, Don Alfonso, and Alberich.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire