He studied in his hometown, where he gave his début in 1936. During the war, he sang in Munich and at the opera of The Hague (then occupied by German troops). He sang at the Salzburg Festival from 1949 on, at the Bayreuth Festival from 1951 on and at the Metropolitan Opera from 1955 to 1961.
The cutting quality of his voice and diction lead to him being cast in wicked roles at the Bayreuth Festival, such as Telramund and Klingsor in Lohengrin and Parsifal, respectively, or in morally ambiguous roles such as Wotan and Gunther in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung or the Flying Dutchman. In spite of being a famous singer, he often also sang such minor roles as Donner in Das Rheingold, Melot in Tristan und Isolde and Shchelkalov in Boris Godunov.
Brünnhilde: Astrid Varnay; Siegfried: Bernd Aldenhoff; Hagen: Ludwig Weber; Alberich: Heinrich Pflanzl; Gunther: Hermann Uhde; Gutrune: Martha Mödl; Dirigent: Hans Knappertsbusch Festspielhaus; Bayreuth, 04. August 1951
Gunther J. Hermann, Apartheid as an ecumenical challenge. The role of the church in the South African conflict/ Apartheid als okumenische Herausforderung. Die Rolle der Kirche im Sudafrikakonflikt.(Book review)
Mar 01, 2009; Gunther J. Hermann, Apartheid als okumenische Herausforderung. Die Rolle der Kirche im Sudafrikakonflikt [Apartheid as an...