BiographyFranz Mazura’s stage debut was delayed due to the outbreak of World War II. He received his vocal training by Fred Husler in Detmold and started his career as a bassist at Staatstheater Kassel in 1949. He then went on to sing at Stadttheater Mainz and Staatstheater Braunschweig. Changing his Fach to baritone, he has been an honoured member of the ensemble at Nationaltheater Mannheim from 1964 until 1987.
In 1960, Mr. Mazura was a guest at the festival in Salzburg, where he gave Cassandro in La finta semplice by W. A. Mozart and returned as Pizarro in Fidelio ten years later. In 1963, he was a member of the cast at Deutsche Oper Berlin. He received regular invitations by major German theaters such as Hamburgische Staatsoper and Bayerische Staatsoper, where he accepted a guest contract in 1973.
During his remarkable career, he was hailed especially for his embodiment of roles such as Alberich/Ring des Nibelungen, Pizzaro/Fidelio, Scarpia/Tosca, Jochanaan/Salome, and Moses/Moses und Aron. In the early seventies, he started his international career singing at the major opera houses in Paris, Vienna, Cologne, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Brussels, Nice, and Strasbourg. Since 1972, he is a regular guest at the Grand Opéra in Paris, where he also performed as Dr. Schön in the world premiere of the revised three-act version by F. Cerha of Alban Berg’s opera Lulu on the 24.2.1979.
In 1980, Mazura joined the ensemble at the Metropolitan Opera New York (debut as Dr. Schön/Lulu), where he performed such roles as Klingsor and Gurnemanz/Parsifal and Alberich/Ring.
Mazura is known as an outstanding interpreter of Richard Wagner, whereas Alberich is considered his star role. From 1975 to 1995 he has been a regular guest at the Bayreuther Festspiele where he performed as Klingsor/Parsifal, Biterolf/Tannhäuser, Marke/Tristan, and Alberich, Wanderer, and Gunther/Ring des Nibelungen.
In the past years, he performed especially as Schigolch/Lulu at renowned opera houses such as Metropolitan Opera New York, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, the Opéra National de Paris, and the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse and appeared as Pfleger des Orest/Elektra, Niegus/Die lustige Witwe, and Haushofmeister/Ariadne auf Naxos. Mazura worked with Sir Simon Rattle in concerts of Henze’s Floß der Medusa in Berlin and Schönberg’s Gurre Lieder in Philadelphia and received high praise for his performances of Ekklesiastische Aktion by B. A. Zimmermann. Further, he performed at Opéra de Lyon, Teatro alla Scala di Milano, at the Vienna Festival, and most recently at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, where he was on stage in Elektra and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Henze’s Der junge Lord at Staatsoper Hannover and Ekklesiastische Aktion at Philharmonie Cologne.
Recordings: Electrola, DGG (Wozzeck, Lulu), Philips (Gunther in Götterdämmerung, Moses/Moses und Aron), Decca (Der Kaiser von Atlantis von Ullmann).
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Ein erfülltes Sängerleben geht zu EndeWir verabschieden uns von Kammersänger Franz Mazura, der am 23.01.2020 im Alter von 95 Jahren friedlich eingeschlafen ist.
Der in Salzburg geborene Bass feierte sein Debüt 1955 in Kassel und war seit dem bis zuletzt auf den großen Bühnen der Welt zuhause.
Noch im vergangenen Jahr war er in der Berliner Staatsoper als Hans Schwarz in „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“ zu erleben. Franz Mazura, der vor allem als Wagner-Interpret große Erfolge feierte, wurde für seine Kunst mit zwei Grammy Awards, dem Faust-Preis für sein Lebenswerk und dem Bundesverdienstkreuz ausgezeichnet.
Er wird uns als Mensch und herausragende Künstlerpersönlichkeit in besonderer Erinnerung bleiben.