Anton Dermota

Anton Dermota (born 4 June 1910 in kropa, Slovenia, † 22 June 1989 ) was a lyric tenor with main residence in Vienna.

Life and work

Anton Dermota studied composition and organ in Ljubljana ( Ljubljana ) and then received a vocal scholarship in Vienna. In 1934, he debuted in Cluj ( Kolozsvár ). 1936 heard him the great conductor Bruno Walter and committed him to the Vienna State Opera, where he debuted as first Man in Armour in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Magic Flute. He soon received first leading roles ( first Alfredo in La Traviata 1937) and developed into a Viennese audience favorite.

During this time he experienced the greatest catastrophe of the State Opera, as this came up on March 13, 1945 during an allied air raid in flames, and even helped to save notes and furnishings from the flames. He remained loyal to the State Opera in their temporary quarters at the Theater an der Wien, and was appointed on March 4, 1946 Vienna Chamber singers. Dermota belonged alongside singers such as Maria Cebotari, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Wilma Lipp, Irmgard Seefried, Sena Jurinac, Erich Kunz, Paul Schöffler The famous Vienna Mozart Ensemble of the 50s.

It was therefore almost self-evident that Dermota on November 5, 1955 participated in the re-opening premiere of the restored State Opera - as Florestan in Beethoven's Fidelio. On October 26, 1977 Dermota celebrated its fortieth anniversary on stage at the State Opera in the title role of Hans Pfitzner's Palestrina.

On his seventieth birthday had long since become a living legend chamber singers sang at the invitation of the State Opera as Tamino again - with almost unchanged fresh voice.

The second artistic home Dermotas were the Salzburg Festival, where he performed almost continuously from 1937 ( Balthasar Zorn in Die Meistersinger under Arturo Toscanini ) by the end of the fifties, especially in his great Mozart roles.

He also gave acclaimed guest performances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, at the Paris Opera, the Opera House in Rome, the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and made concert tours in Australia, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

Since 1966 Dermota also held a singing professor at the Vienna Academy of Music.

He died in his adopted home of Vienna a few days after his 79th birthday. His grave site is located at the Hietzing cemetery. 1992 named to the Dermotagasse in Vienna Hietzing after him.


In the postwar period, and until the early seventies Dermota was one of the most internationally sought-after Mozart and Bach interpreter of his generation, famous mainly as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Ferrando ( Così fan tutte ), but later sang even more dramatic roles as Florestan and the more lyrical roles of Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner ( David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) and Giuseppe Verdi, this especially in earlier years Giacomo Puccini and Jules Massenet.

One of his most recognized interpretations was that of John of Franz Schmidt's oratorio The enormous book with seven seals ( with Walter Berry, bass, recording conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos ). Of significance is his design of the title role of Hans Pfitzner's Palestrina, his Evangelimann ( Wilhelm Kienzl ) and his Lensky in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Overall, his repertoire included over 80 roles.

Standards he set as an interpreter of songs, especially by Schubert and Schumann, where he was always accompanied by his wife Hilda ( nee Berger of Weyer Forest, June 17, 1912 * † March 5, 2013 ) at the piano. Its available on CD interpretation of Winterreise is a textbook example of expression, style and vocal culture.

As a singer Dermota was life as one of the greatest in his field, and many of his younger colleagues - Fritz Wunderlich, Nicolai Gedda, Ernst Haefliger, Peter Schreier - were measured at him. Dermotas technical mastery was impressive, and his voice had both enamel and expressiveness into old age - still 1981, he sang in Carlos Kleiber's recording of Tristan und Isolde, the young shepherd.