|Born: January 14, 1940 -
Stiring-Wendel, Saarland, Germany
The German bass-baritone, Siegmund Nimsgern, has for many years belonged to the group of elite international singers.
After his school-leaving examination Siegmund Nimsgern studied music education. Musicology, German, and philosophy. He was a student in Saarbrücken of Sibylle Fuchs, Jakob Stämpfli, and Paul Lohmann. He won four first prizes in important vocal competitions and soon thereafter became one of the most successful German lied, oratorio, and opera singers.
In 1965 Siegmund Nimsgern made his debut as a concert artist. His operatic debut followed in 1967 when he appeared as Lionel in Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orleans in Saarbrücken, where he sang until 1971. In 1970 he made his Salzburg Festival debut. From 1971 to 1974 he was a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. He made his British debut in 1972 as a soloist in La Damnation de Faust. In 1973 he made his first appearance at London’s Covent Garden as Amfortas, and he also made debuts at Milan’s La Scala and the Paris Opéra. In 1974 he made his USA debut as Jokanaan at the San Francisco Opera. He made his Metropolitan debut in New York as Pizarro in October 1978, and returned there as Jokanaan in 1981. From 1983 to 1985 he appeared as Wotan at the Bayreuth Festivals.
In addition to Radio and recording studios, Siegmund Nimsgern’s regular sphere of activity includes all of the major opera houses, such as La Scala (Milano), the Metropolitan Opera (New York), Covent Garden (London), Opéra de Paris, the Wiener Staatsoper, the opera houses in Chicago, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Rome (Santa Cecilia), etc., as well as the music festivals in Munich, Salzburg, Flanders, Israel, Florence, Orange, Berlin, Ansbach, and Bayreuth.
Important conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Carlo Maria Giulini, Herbert von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, Erich Leinsdorf, Jean Martinon, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Georg Solti, Horst Stein, and many others, have worked and continue to work together with Siegmund Nimsgern.
LP and CD records as well as numerous ‘private recordings’ give proof of his vocal and interpretations skills.
Among Siegmund Nimsgern’s other roles were Telramund, Alberich, Günther, the Dutchman, Macbeth, Iago, and Luna. As Lieder (Schubert, Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Wolf, etc.) and oratorio singer (J.S. Bach, George Frideric Handel, L.v. Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, etc.), but above all as character and ‘Helden’ baritone in the opera (Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Verdi, Georges Bizet, Wagner, Strauss, Puccini, Alban Berg, George Enescu, and many others), Siegmund Nimsgern belongs without question to the most prominent vocal and stage personalities in the contemporary music scene.
-- From the Bach-Cantatas website
-- Names which are links in this box and below refer to my Interviews elsewhere on this website. BD
Siegmund Nimsgern at Lyric Opera of Chicago
1979 - Tristan (Kurwenal) with Knie, Vickers, Dunn, Sotin; Decker, Poettgen, Oswald
1982 - Tristan (Kurwenal) with Martin, Vickers, Denize, Sotin, Negrini, Cook; Leitner, Poettgen, Oswald
Tosca (Scarpia) with Bumbry/Marton, Domingo/Luchetti, Kavrakos, Andreolli, Tajo; Rudel, Gobbi, Pizzi
1983 - Flying Dutchman (Dutchman) with Carson, Schunk, Sotin/Moll; Perick, Ponnelle
1984 - Frau ohne Schatten (Barak) with Marton, Johns, Zschau, Dunn, Voketaitis; Janowski, Corsaro, Chase
1986-87 - Parsifal (Amfortas) with Vickers, Troyanos, Sotin, Becht, Salminen/Kennedy; Perick, Pizzi
1987-88 - Tosca (Scarpia) with Scotto, Ciannella, Patterson, Andreolli, Tajo; Tilson Thomas, Kellner, Pizzi
1988-89 - Salome (Jokanaan) with Ewing, Fassbaender, King, Farina; Slatkin, Aster, Hall
Aïda (Amonasro) with Susan Dunn/Kasrashvili/Marc, Lamberti/Giacomini/Bartolini, Zajick, Giaotti; Richard Buckley, Joël, Halmen, Tallchief
1989-90 - [Opening Night] Tosca (Scarpia) with Marton/Neblett, Jóhannsson/Giacomini, Runey, Andreolli, Tajo; Bartoletti, de Tomasi, Pizzi
Siegmund Nimsgern with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
(all performances conducted by Sir Georg Solti, Margaret Hillis Chorus Director)
November 1981 [Also Decca Recording which won a 1983 Grammy] - Creation (Adam) with Burrowes, Greenberg, Wohlers, Morris
Apirl 1983 [Also Carnegie Hall, NY] - Das Rheingold (Wotan) with Schnaut, Jerusalem, Becht, Tear, DeGaetani, Smith, Howell
April 1985 - St. Matthew Passion (Bass Solos) with Schoene, Rolfe-Johnson, Coburn, Fassbaender, Moser
A few more recordings made by Siegmund Nimsgern
which include some of my other interview guests . . .
To read my Interview with Helen Donath, click HERE.
To read my Interveiew with Walter Berry, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Helmuth Rilling, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Ileana Cotrubas, click HERE.
To read my Interviewe with Kiri te Kanawa, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Ruth Welting, click HERE.
To read m Interviews with John Pritchard, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Ruggero Raimond, click HERE.
To read my Interview with June Anderson, click HERE.
© 1982 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded in his apartment in Chicago on
November 8, 1982. A transcription was made and part of it
appeared in Opera Scene
Magazine in April, 1983; the Wagner sections were published in Wagner News in July of that same
year. Portions were broadcast on WNIB in 1988, 1990, 1995, 1997,
The transcription was re-edited and posted on this
website very early in 2016.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.