Performance Database

Ain Anger

Hailed by The Guardian as “one of the great Wagner basses of our time” Ain Anger made his Bayreuth Festival debut as Fafner in Das Rheingold and Siegfried under Christian Thielemann before singing Hunding in new Ring Cycles at Bayerische Staatsoper under Kent Nagano, Wiener Staatsoper with Franz Welser-Möst and Oper Frankfurt under Sebastian Weigle. Since then Ain has debuted at Teatro alla Scala as Daland (Der fliegende Holländer) under Hartmut Haenchen, San Francisco Opera as Pogner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) under Sir Mark Elder, Lyric Opera of Chicago as Hunding under Sir Andrew Davis and joined Deutsche Oper Berlin at the BBC Proms in Tannhäuser under Donald Runnicles. Recent seasons have brought further expansion of the Wagner repertoire with debuts as Hagen (Götterdämmerung) for the Canadian Opera Company conducted by Johannes Debus, and as König Marke (Tristan und Isolde) for the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst.

A mainstay of the Wiener Staatsoper stage since his house debut as Monterone (Rigoletto) in 2004, Ain Anger has sung more than forty roles there ranging from Dosifei in Mussorgsky’s epic Khovanshchina conducted by Semyon Bychkov, König Heinrich (Lohengrin) under Christian Thielemann to Philippe II (Don Carlos), Zaccaria (Nabucco), and Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra).

Recent seasons have included further important debuts, notably his acclaimed first performances as Boris Godunov in Richard Jones’ production at Deutsche Oper Berlin – the same production in which he appeared as Pimen under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano, marking his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and as Cardinal Brogni in Halévy’s seldom-performed La Juive at Bayerische Staatsoper under Bertrand de Billy.

The current season brings Anger’s return to Covent Garden as Hunding under Sir Antonio Pappano as well as his debut at Teatro Real in Das Rheingold under Pablo Heras-Casado. At Wiener Staatsoper, Ain Anger appears as Zaccaria, at Bayerische Staatsoper he returns as Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin) and at Opéra National de Paris he sings his first production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta under Tomáš Hanus and joins Ivo van Hove’s new production of Don Giovanni as Commendatore, conducted by Philippe Jordan.

On the concert stage, Anger sings Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra under Marc Albrecht and Hagen (Götterdämmerung) at the Edinburgh International Festival conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Other recent concert highlights have included Khovanshchina under Semyon Bychkov at the BBC Proms, Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Olari Elts, Mahler’s Symphony No .8 with Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks conducted by Mariss Jansons, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under David Robertson, and Beethoven’s Symphony No .9 with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig conducted by Riccardo Chailly.

Trained at Tallin's Academy of Music, Ain Anger began his career in his native Estonia before further developing his repertoire and experience as a former member of the ensembles of both Oper Leipzig and latterly Wiener Staatsoper.

Engagements in Bayreuth

Year Opera Part
2009 Siegfried Fafner
2009 Das Rheingold Fafner