Johannes Martin Kränzle
The baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle, born in Augsburg, has become particularly known for his intensive music-theatrical interpretation of complex characters. He first studied violin and musical theatre direction, then singing with Martin Gründler in Frankfurt. He had permanent engagements at the opera houses in Dortmund, Hanover and Frankfurt before building up his career as a freelancer. He is now a regular guest at the world’s great opera houses: at the Metropolitan Opera New York, La Scala Milan, the Royal Opera House London, the Operá de Paris, the Teatro Real Madrid, in Zurich and Geneva, at the Salzburg, Bregenz and Bayreuth Festivals, at the Glyndebourne and Lucerne Festivals, in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, in San Francisco, Cairo, Antwerp, Spoleto, Sofia, Tel Aviv, Tbilisi and Tokyo. His opera repertoire now comprises 120 roles and ranges from Handel, Rossini, Verdi, Strauss and Lehar to Henze and Rihm. His main focus is on Mozart and Wagner as well as the Slavic repertoire: Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, Janáček.
Concert singing is one of the baritone’s domains. He has staged Schubert’s “Winterreise” at the Kammerspiel Frankfurt. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at Notre Dame Paris, Bach’s solo cantatas at Dormition Abbey Jerusalem as well as at Salvador Cathedral/ Bahia in Brazil, Mahler’s Songs of a Travelling Journeyman at the Budapest Spring Festival and Britten’s War Requiem at the Vilnius Festival are highlights of his concert career. In 2018 he was the baritone soloist in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem at the Maggio Musicale in Florence (in Jeffrey Tate’s final concert) and at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam under Bernhard Haitink.
In 1997, the chamber opera “Der Wurm”, which he composed, was awarded a prize at the composition competition in Berlin and premiered. The cycle “Lieder um Liebe”, composed in 2016 and based on Brecht’s love poems, has been performed numerous times. Johannes Martin Kränzle has won numerous international singing competitions and received prestigious opera and theatre awards. Since winning the Primo Grande Premio in Rio de Janeiro in 1991, he has been an honorary visiting professor in Natal /Brazil. From 2013 to 2018 he taught at the Cologne Musikhochschule.
In 2015 he was diagnosed with an aggressively progressive form of the bone marrow disease MDS. He had to undergo a stem cell transplant. His brother Andreas was able to donate the life-saving cells to him. In September 2016, Johannes Martin Kränzle returned to the stage, where he is more successful than ever. Numerous DVD and CD productions, including three highly acclaimed and award-winning solo albums, document his singing career.