Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, as the third child of Otto Edelmann, who was also from Vienna, and Ilse-Maria Edelmann, who was born and raised in southern Austria, in Kärnten or Carinthia, very close to the Italian border. I have two siblings: my older sister Elisabeth, and my older brother Peter, who also became an operatic baritone like me.
When did you start developing an interest in music and opera?
At a very early age – maybe as early as four or five, since my father was then still active as a singer. My mother started taking me to his performances, and I was infected by the “Opera Virus” immediately!
My parents told me that I started singing very early. Because my joy and passion for music was obvious, my parents had me audition for the Vienna Boys Choir. So at the age of eight I became a Wiener Sängerknabe, and I toured with the choir three times around the world until my voice changed at age twelve. My musical education was profoundly influenced by my time and experience with the choir.
How was it for you to grow up with a father who was an opera singer?
It was wonderful, because I was introduced at a very early age to the wonderful world of theatre and music, so that I had a very natural and direct approach to this wonderful genre.
Later, when I decided to become a professional singer, my father became my singing teacher as well. He supported and formed me as a personality and a singer, and I will never forget how much and what he did for me.
He was an exceptional man, very humble but full of heart and soul -- and on top of it all, one of the most gifted singers of his time. In May 2003 he died in the age of 86. Not a day goes by when I don’t miss him!
Are you interested in any other musical genres?
I’m definitely not the typical opera singer who listens to nothing but classical music all day long. My passion for music goes from jazz and soul -- including the great singer-songwriters like Billy Joel -- to R&B and folk music; Irish folk music and the Portuguese Fado are fantastic.
Music is the only language which is understood by everybody -- it has the power to overcome all cultural, religious and political boundaries!
What do you consider to be your most important roles so far?
The most important part in my beginning years in this profession was Papageno in Mozart’s Magic Flute, and it’s still very important for me. But since my debuts as Count Danilo in F. Lehar’s Merry Widow and most of all as Mozart’s Don Giovanni, these two parts are tied for first place as the favorite roles in my repertoire. They’re both really exciting for me in very similar ways.
In the near future I’ll have two very interesting role debuts: Sir Riccardo in V. Bellini’s I Puritani -- a real entrance to the Italian Repertoire -- and soon after that, the part of Eisenstein in J. Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. I’m very much looking forward to acting and singing that part!
You´ve opted to work as a freelance singer. Why?
In my beginning years as a professional singer I had a “Fest”-contract in a little theatre in Koblenz / Germany. Those years gave me the opportunity to acquire a great deal of experience and to develop as an artist without any pressure. But later I began to feel that I wanted my freedom; I wanted the chance to travel the world and sing. So I went freelance very early!
As a freelance singer you have much more control over the repertoire that you’re singing; nobody can force you to do anything you don’t want to do. I find that very important!
The inevitable question: what are your hobbies?
I have a strong passion for people, to get to know them and have long and intense conversations about life... to get to know interesting things about their lives, or about other cultures.
I love to travel. I love sports -- especially tennis. I love food and eating, and I have a special passion for exotic food. AndI listen to music of almost every kind whereever I am.