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The bass Robert Holl, a native of Rotterdam, received his training from Jan Veth, David Hollestelle, and Hans Hotter. In 1971 he won the s’Hertogenbosch Vocal Competition and, in 1972, the ARD Music Competition in Munich. He began his career in 1973 as a member of the Bavarian Staatsoper ensemble, where he stayed for two years before deciding to become a freelance concert singer. Key inspirations for Holl have been his intensive collaboration with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his work with historically informed performance practice. He also soon made his name as a lieder singer of distinction. Starting in the late 1980s, Holl began more and more to again take part in opera productions: initially in Zurich, where he performed as the Speaker and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Gremin in Eugene Onegin, the Water Goblin in Rusalka, and La Roche in Capriccio. He has also regularly performed at the Berlin and Vienna Staatsoper companies, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Cologne Opera. He has a particularly close association with the Bayreuth Festival. There he has performed the roles of Hans Sachs in Wolfgang Wagner’s Meistersinger production from 1996 to 2002 (conducted by Daniel Barenboim and Christian Thielemann), Gurnemanz in Christoph Schlingensief’s Parsifal from 2004 to 2007 (conducted by Pierre Boulez and Adám Fischer), and König Marke in Christoph Marthaler’s Tristan from 2008 to 2012. Holl, who has also had his own compositions performed, has been teaching lieder and oratorio at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna since 1998. He is an Austrian Chamber Singer (1990), an Honorary Member of the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna (1997), holder of the Austrian Cross of Honor (2005) and a knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion (2007).
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 16 April 2000 in the part of Christus in Bach’s St. John Passion under Nikolaus Harnoncourt.