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German tenor Peter Hofmann dies at 66

November 30, 2010 | 10:28 pm

Hofmann German tenor Peter Hofmann, who became famous for his performances of Richard Wagner operas, died Tuesday. He was 66.

The Rheinische Post newspaper quoted Hofmann's brother, Fritz, saying he died at a hospital in Bavaria.

"Peter Hofmann, unlike few others, bridged the gap between entertainment and serious music," Culture Minister Bernd Neumann said in a statement.

"His accomplishments as rock singer in the 'Phantom of the Opera,' but even more his exceptionally gifted interpretations of Wagner, are unforgettable."

Hofmann made his name performing at the annual Bayreuth festival celebrating Wagner's music.  

His international breakthrough came in 1976, when he played Siegmund in Wagner's "Ring" cycle at Bayreuth.

Starting in 1990, he starred 300 times in the German version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Phantom of the Opera," performed in Hamburg. He also hosted a TV show in Germany and performed Elvis Presley songs on a tour across Europe.

Hofmann had Parkinson's disease for several years and stopped performing in 1999.

--Associated Press

Photo: Peter Hofmann in 2000. Credit: Associated Press