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Petre Munteanu (Tenor)

Born: November 26, 1916 - Campina, Romania
Died: July 18, 1988 - Milan, Italy

The Romanian tenor, Petre Munteanu, studied singing and violin playing at the Conservatory of Bucharest.

In 1940 Petre Munteanu made his operatic debut at the Royal Opera of Bucharest. However he continued his studies in Germany and went to Berlin, where he became a student of H. Weissenborn. After the World War II, he excited the Italian public as a concert singer. In 1947 he made his debut at the opera of Rome as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. In the same year 1947 he came to the Milan's La Scala, where he appeared in the role of Ferrando in Così fan tutte. He then continued on to participate in the premiers of Igor Stravinskyís Persephone, Cimarosaís Credulo and Alban Bergís Wozzeck. In 1954 he sang at the Opera of Rome in the first Italian performance of the fairy tale opera Snegourotchka by Rimsky Korssakow. Further appearances at the Covent Garden Opera in London, at the State Operas of Vienna and Munich, at the opera houses of Triest, Florenz and Napoli. In 1948 he sang at the Festival of Edinburgh, and in 1948-1949 at Glyndebourne Festival as Ferrando in Così fan tutte. In 1961 he participated in the Teatro Fenice Venice in the premiere of the opera Intolleranza 60 by Luigi Nono. He could also be heard in Madrid, in the Scandinavian countries and in Australia (1958).

Petre Munteanu's great opera stage roles included Tamino into Die Zauberflöte, Pedrillo in Entführung aus dem Serail, Fenton in Verdiís Falstaff, Cassio in Othello, Count Almaviva in The Barbiere of Sevilla, Pylades in Gluckís Iphigénie en Tauride, and Filipeto in Wolf-Ferrariís I quattro rusteghi. In 1968 he appeared inn Turin for the first time as a conductor into appearance. Later he worked later than pedagogue at the Conservatory of Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. Apart from the perfect control of the Italian Belcanto in operas of Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti, Munteanu excelled also as a W.A. Mozart interpreter, and in the concert halls in oratorios of J.S. Bach and George Frideric Handel and in Lieder recitals.

Petre Munteanu's recordings appeared on labels such as DGG, Philips (Don Pasquale), Nixa (Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244)), Westminster (Beethovenís Ninth Symphony, Winterreise of Schubert), Angelicum, Hunt Records (c-moll-Messe of W.A. Mozart), Fonit Cetra (Magnificat (BWV 243) by J.S. Bach).

Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (July 2001)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2001, October 2004); Manfred Krugmann (Dates, May 2011; Photos 01-03, July 2011)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Aladar Janes


BWV 160, BWV 189

Hermann Scherchen


BWV 76, BWV 243, BWV 244

Links to other Sites


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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 15:25