Josef Hopferwieser, a stalwart tenor of the Vienna State Opera, has died at 77.
He used to sing while spraying cars. That earned him a voice scholarship in Graz.
He joined Vienna as a Heldentenor soloist in 1973 and sang on to his retirement in 1998, giving 472 performances in 35 roles.
He appeeared as Tenor/Bacchus (Ariadne auf Naxos), Matteo and Graf Elemér (Arabella), Herod and Narraboth (Salome), Sänger und Wirt (Der Rosenkavalier) – famously, in the Carlos Kleiber video – Walther von Stolzing (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Stimme des Seemanns (Tristan und Isolde), Laïos (Oedipe), Buryja (Jenufa), Max (Der Freischütz), Erik (Der fliegende Holländer) and Alfred (Die Fledermaus).