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Torsten Kerl, a native of Gelsenkirchen, Germany, began his career as principal oboist in the orchestras of Wuppertal’s theaters. At the same time he pursued private vocal training, at first as a baritone, before changing to tenor. His initial engagements were with the opera companies of Gelsenkirchen and Karlsruhe, where he performed such major roles as Hans in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride and Turiddu in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana. In 1996 Kerl made his Bayreuth Festival debut as the Helmsman in The Flying Dutchman, and in 1997 came his debut at the Vienna Staatsoper, which subsequently became his base for several years. There he performed such roles as Mozart’s Tamino and Idomeneo, Max in Der Freischütz, Wagner’s Erik and Parsifal, Alwa in Berg’s Lulu, and the title role in Krenek’s Jonny spielt auf. At the Salzburg Festival Kerl has appeared as Paul in Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, at the Glyndebourne Festival as Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio, and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Menelaus in Strauss’s Die Ägyptische Helena. During the past few years, Kerl has also been adding the Wagnerian heldentenor roles to his repertoire. He has sung Tannhäuser at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and at the Bayreuth Festival and Tristan at the Glyndebourne Festival, and in 2011 he performed both of the Ring’s Siegfried roles at the Opéra National de Paris for the first time. He has additionally appeared at La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in London, the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, and Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam; he plans to return to the Metropolitan Opera in November 2013 as the Emperor in Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten. In 2000 Torsten Kerl won a Grammy Award in the category Best Opera Recording.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 31 August 1998 as Balthasar Zorn in a concert performanceof the third act of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, conducted by Daniel Barenboim.