Vienna tenor dies, 93

Vienna tenor dies, 93


norman lebrecht

June 23, 2022

The Austrian opera and oratorio singer Kurt Equiluz died yesterday at a great age.

A member of the Vienna Boys Choir, he joined the Vienna State Opera in 1950 and was a soloist from 1957 to 1983,

He was best known for multiple Bach recordings and was still performing in his late 80s.




  • JB says:

    I suppose you’re only really famous if in your obituary you are not just a “Vienna tenor” but called by your name.

    Kurt Equiluz was a cornerstone of the first generation of the HIP mouvement, e.g. in the Bach Cantata recordings by Harnoncourt/Leonhardt.

    • MWnyc says:

      He was the star of that series.

    • Don Ciccio says:

      And not only that. He also recorded a number of Bach cantatas with Helmuth Rilling, Helmut Winschermann, and Felix Prohaska.

      Alas, at the Vienna State Opera he sang mostly comprimario roles. But what a luxury comprimario!


  • Andrewb says:

    An outstanding tenor , fine technique, great sense of style, he had it all. Wonderful Kurt Equiluz.

  • opilec says:

    For many years I knew him only as the outstanding tenor on the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt Bach recordings, where he and Max van Egmond were the regular vocal stars. Was delighted when he also popped up as Roderigo on Solti’s (still underrated) Vienna recording of Otello.

  • Don Ciccio says:

    Does anyone know what roles, if any, he sang at the Volskoper? Thank you.

  • Charles says:

    One of the most important interpreters of Bach singing one of the most difficult of his arias. Superb.

  • Mark Cogley says:

    Equiliz can be seen as Remedado in Karajan’s Carmen film. He recorded nearly everything Bach wrote for tenor and his consummate vocal and musical mastery of this most difficult repertoire makes him one of the really important tenors.

  • R. Norton says:

    The soundtrack to my Bach explorations as a young adult. A remarkable artist.