Gerhaher: Why I’m suing Germany over Covid

Gerhaher: Why I’m suing Germany over Covid


norman lebrecht

June 10, 2022

The baritone Christian Gerhaher explains to Zsolt Bognar in Living the Classical Life why he feels so strongly about the damage Governments inflicted on music during the Covid years.

He’s not just a singer. He’s a qualified medical doctor who knows what he’s talking about.

And he seems to be winning his case.

‘The pandemic is something I understand also as a physician. For me, it’s not a medical problem…. The performing arts are disadvantaged. The question is how we can live as a community dedicated to arts.’


  • Amos says:

    What nonsense…this is not a medical problem but an arts problem. Let’s hope he doesn’t actually practice medicine. The fact that someone has graduated from medical school does not ensure that they know anything about public health, virology or immunology. Without prioritizing the immunizing of the population and limiting the spread of COVID all you have is death and overwhelmed hospitals. Get everyone vaccinated and the arts can flourish again.

  • Bloom says:

    Well, Herr Gerhaher is the greatest lieder singer of our time. What he says about entertainment is very encouraging for the survival of this art form.

  • Player says:

    Good man!

  • Clark says:

    There are always individual medics at odds with the consensus of medical opinion and individual musicians who have managed to view the entire pandemic through the prism of their own careers. This guy manages to do both. In the end though, science ultimately works through consensus and (unthinkably to them) the world is much bigger than their careers.

  • TishaDoll says:

    I suppose when your voice goes you’ve got to do something…

  • Andrew says:

    Refreshing to see an uncucked musician fighting back, though the recent rulings of German courts don’t bode well for his success.

    • Elisabeth says:

      It depends on his legal support. He will have a chance.

    • Elisabeth says:

      There is a mass of real data and evidence of the malicious possible ( side) effects of the so called ‘ vaccine’ out in the open now. A few days ago even from official British sources which I read in a German not- MSM online regular. It is happening internationally. His advocate needs to be of the establishment busting kind, there should be a few around in Munich . He will not be alone. Where is the crowd- funding?

      • Amos says:

        Ah, finally after 6 posts you get to your anti-vax message. Vaccines save lives and the failure to immunize society safely leads to death, hospitalizations, and disruption of careers and lives.

        • Norabide Guziak says:

          So how come so many triple-vaxed keep on getting covid, and often quite badly? These are not vaccines and have caused irreparable damage, if not death, to many.

          • Amos says:

            Fully vaccinated people don’t experience serious illness. They still come in contact with high titers of the virus thanks to people like you and Comrade H spreading disinformation which prevents the vulnerable from getting vaccinated.

        • Hayne says:

          What about the failure and destructiveness of the gene therapies?

        • Peter says:

          That is true for most vaccines, yes, but not for the ones against covid. Is it the fourth or fifth shot people are buckling up for now?

    • Hugo Preuß says:

      The resounding lack of success in court might be due to the fact that their cases have no merit whatsoever. Gerhaher may have studied medicine ages ago – but it is not mentioned on either wikipedia nor on his own homepage. Apparently he never ever worked as a doctor. Why on earth anyone would take medical advice from someone like him is beyond me. I prefer the expertise of virologists and epidemologists who actually work in that field. Like the current German minister of health, who used to be a professor of virology. The judges will laugh Gerhaher out of court, and rightly so.

  • Sam McElroy says:

    Really interesting interview. Thank you. I slightly disagree with CG’s view of the actor (not) bringing himself – his personal life – to the stage, or perhaps they just didn’t dig quite deeply enough on that topic to really clarify his intentions. Rigoletto, for example, is a role about fatherhood, loss, grief, the private vs public life, and so on. I feel there is nothing tasteless about an artist reaching into his personal “sense memory” (in “method” speak) of the father-daughter / husband-wife relationship in order to imbue that role, and that wonderful text, with an extra layer of “truthfulness”. In fact, it is that extra layer that is – or used to be, at least – often missing in the opera singer, as opposed to the “opera actor”, as Benjamin Luxon liked to call opera singers. I do understand the concept of distance, as expressed by CG, but singing actors need to fully manifest the deeper layers of meaning in sound, which is exactly how you find the colours required to paint any given vowel with its special hue of depth and meaning. Think, for example, of the two words, “il pianto!” at the end of the phrase “Il retaggio d’ogni uom m’è tolto, il pianto!” That single, first, elongated vowel – sitting on top of a sixth chord – is, arguably, a distillation point of the opera’s tragedy, of Rigoletto’s dilemma as both jester, father and widower. There are a million ways to colour that one vowel. The artist who truly lives that pathos on stage is more likely to find the more potent colour. If drawing on your own experience of fatherhood / loss / love / grief allows you, as the artist, to find that colour for your character in that moment, then I think you are deep in your craft, and the audience will receive it. To my way of thinking, the tasteless lies in the approximation of truth, the unwillingness to go right to the beating heart of the character. Maybe CG would not disagree with me, and the point simply needed a little extra teasing. I’m not sure. Anyway, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to listen to artists dig down on their work. Thank you, Zsolt.