Spas Wenkoff

Picture of Spas Wenkoff
Spas Wenkoff was born on September 23rd, 1928. After practicing as a lawyer for five years while training his voice under I. Jossifov in Sofia, Spas Wenkoff trained under Mme. Safirowa in Russia and Johannes Kemter in Dresden.

As early as 1954, he was singing the heroic title role in the Georgian opera Keto und Kote by W.I. Dolidse at the Municipal Theater of Turnovo.

From 1962-65, he was heard with the ensemble of the Russian Opera House in Bulgaria. Then he became known in East Germany, where he enjoyed great success. He sang at the Dobeln Theater from 1965-68, from 1968-71 at the Municipal Theater of Magdeburg, from 1971-75 (Where he sang his first Tannhäuser)in Halle/Saale and was hired in 1975 as the principal Heldentenor at the Berlin State Opera, where he was heard until 1984.

During a 1975 guest engagement at the Dresden State Opera, he scored a particular success as Tristan. He sang the role at the Bayreuth Festival in 1976 and in 1982-83, while adding Tannhauser.

Having begun his career singing the most demanding dramatic parts in the Italian repertoire, in later years he became known as a great Wagner interpreter, appearing as a guest throughout the world. In 1982 he triumphed as Tannhauser at the Vienna State Opera where he took over the title role for the suddenly-indisposed Reiner Goldberg.

In 1981, he answered a call to the Metropolitan Opera, where he made his debut as Tristan. From 1984, he appeared mainly at the German Opera House, Berlin, at the State Opera Houses of Vienna and Munich and at the Cologne Opera.

In 1987, he appeared at the Bern Municipal Theater and at the Wiener Staatsoper as Tannhauser. In 1990, he was a guest artist in Cologne; in 1991 he appeared in Vienna as Tristan and in 1991 at Covent Garden as the Gotterdammerung Siegfried.

His older brother, WenkoWenkoff (1921-92) was also a well-known tenor. He is now (2008) living in Bad Ischl in the Upper Austrian countryside.

Spas Wenkoff sings Otello: Si pel ciel, with Giuseppe Taddei

Spas Wenkoff sings Otello: Nium mi tema
In RA Format

Spas Wenkoff sings Siegfried: Dass der mein Vater nicht ist
In RA Format

Spas Wenkoff singsParsifal: Amfortas, die Wunde
In RA Format

Don Giovanni-Rousse, April 1 ,1964
Arschin-Trastenik, April 2, 1964
Die Verkaufte Braut-Popovo, April 6, 1964
Die Czárdasfürstin, April 7, 1964
La Traviata-Lovetsch, June 16, 1964
Faust-Rousse, January 1, 1965
Matrosenehre-Rousse, February 1, 1965
Il barbiere di Siviglia-Rousse, February 14, 1965
Katarina Izmaïlova-Rousse, April 20, 1965
Il barbiere di Siviglia-Rousse, February 18, 1965
Zar und Zimmermann-Döbeln, October 10, 1965
Tosca-Colditz, November 11, 1965
Der Vogelhändler-Döbeln, January 23, 1966
Rusalka-Döbeln-March 20, 1966
Heitere Muse-Waldenburg, August 6, 1966
Pagliacci-Döbeln, September 4, 1966
Estrade-Waldheim, November 12, 1966
Manon Lescaut-Döbeln, May 7, 1967
Otello-Döbeln, September 17, 1967
Der Freischütz-Döbeln, February 25, 1968
Un ballo in maschera-Döbeln, June 30, 1968
Carmen-Magdeburg, September 1, 1968
Don Carlo-Magdeburg, December 5, 1968
Pazifik 60-Greifswald, March 20, 1969
Fidelio-Magdeburg, September 13, 1969
Rigoletto-Greifswald, December 12, 1969
Les contes d'Hoffmann-Greifswald, February 1, 1970
Die zweite Entscheidung-Magdeburg, May 10, 1970
Maâtre Pathelin-Magdeburg, September 6, 1970
Turandot-Erfurt, February 13, 1971
Ariodante-Halle, May 30, 1971
Il Trovatore- Görlitz, October 16, 1971
Tannhäuser-Magdeburg, January 8, 1972
Manon-Gera, March 25, 1972
Jenufa-Halle, April 9, 1972
La Bohème-Halle, Ocotber 22, 1972
Cavalleria rusticana-Zwickau, October 21, 1972
Aida-Erfurt, February 17, 1973
Die Zauberflöte-Halle, April 7, 1973
Die Meister-Erfurt, June 29, 1973
Kraftstrom-Halle, October 7, 1973
Lampenfieber-Halle, December 8, 1973
Il Tabarro-Halle, July 5, 1974
Der Rosenkavalier-Bitterfeld-September 27, 1974
Tristan und Isolde-Dresden, October 26, 1975
Pique Dame-Halle, December 17, 1975
Die Meistersinger-Berlin (DDR), November 7, 1976
Parsifal-Berlin (DDR), July 10, 1977
Die Walküre-Dallas, December 3, 1981
Die Götterdämemerung-Augsburg, February 27, 1983
Siegfried-Buenos Aires, October 2, 1983
Die Liebe de Danae-Milano, September 17, 1988

Reference: Peter M. Schneider Heldentenor Spas wenkoff, Alles war zufall, 2008
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the recording (Otello), and additions to the biographical notes.
I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the recording (Siegfried), the picture and biographical notes.
I wish to thank Tom Silverboerg for the recording (Parsifal).

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