Vienna upgrades British baritone

Vienna upgrades British baritone


norman lebrecht

June 13, 2017

Simon Keenlyside will receive the title Kammersänger at the Vienna Opera next Monday.

He has sung there, man and boy, for more than 20 years.

The title does not come with a new tattoo.


  • pianoronald says:

    Well deserved.

  • Ungeheuer says:

    Does Vienna really bestow the title on singers experiencing vocal trouble? Or is it based on lookism?

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Check these names for Austrian Kammersänger from 2010-1014. What do you think?

      José CURA Kammersänger 30.03.2010
      Natalie DESSAY Kammersängerin 16.04.2010
      Nina STEMME Kammersängerin 23.11.2011
      Peter JELOSITS Kammersänger 23.11.2011
      Barbara FRITTOLI Kammersängerin 25.11.2011
      Juan Diego FLÓREZ Kammersänger 13.09.2012
      Wolfgang BANKL Kammersänger 30.10.2012
      Elina GARANČA Kammersängerin 28.01.2013
      Peter SEIFFERT Kammersänger 28.02.2013
      Ildebrando D’ARCANGELO Kammersänger
      Bernarda FINK Kammersängerin 21.11.2013
      Stephen GOULD Kammersänger 06.11.2014

      Technically the title awarded to outstanding opera singers by the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture Austria. Does anyone know anything about the decision making process?

      • Nik says:

        Alright, so the incidence of serious vocal trouble is around 50%. I’m not going to comment on good looks or otherwise.
        The decision making process is not entirely transparent, but I think it’s done at the level of the Bundestheater along with the award of the Kammerschauspieler title (the equivalent for actors). The minimum criteria is that the recipient has to have regularly performed as a soloist at the respective house for at least 20 years. Typically the relationship is somewhat closer than just the odd freelance engagement.

    • Brendan says:

      That comment is indeed worthy of the alias in revealing montrous ignorance not mention compassion for any vocal artist who has been singing at the highest artistic level since 1985 since I first heard him as a student. Simon is a great artist and deserves any honour Vienna chose to bestow in recogition of his contribution to opera there.