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The baritone Thomas Laske, who was born in Stuttgart, began performing as a member of the Hymnus Boys Choir in his native city. He studied sound and image technology and received a degree in engineering in Düsseldorf before he began voice studies with Brigitte Dürrler and Ria Goetze; he was also taught by Andreas Schmidt and Otto Edelmann. After Laske won first prize at the Richard Strauss Competition in Munich in 1997, he began his singing career at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Opera Studio. He was subsequently engaged to perform at the Schillertheater in North Rhine-Westphalia and Wuppertal Opera, where he remains a member of the ensemble. Laske’s repertoire includes the great Mozart baritone roles – Count Almaviva, Figaro, and Don Giovanni – as well as roles from Italian, French, and Russian opera, such as Escamillo (Bizet’s Carmen), Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, and Puccini’s Marcello (La Bohème) and Sharpless (Madama Butterfly). Other credits include with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bavarian Staatsoper, the Municipal Theaters of Cologne, and Frankfurt Opera; in the 2012-13 season he appeared at Hannover Opera as Guglielmo in a new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Laske is above all a highly sought-after concert singer who has appeared with such conductors as Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons, Ton Koopman, Helmuth Rilling, and Wolfgang Sawallisch. His most recent CD, which was released in fall 2012, is of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, which he recorded with the Windsbach Boys Choir under Karl-Friedrich Beringer. In addition to his artistic work, Laske is an instructor and since 2010 has taught voice at the Robert Schumann Academy in Düsseldorf.