Posted August 22, 2013

August 22, 2013

On August 13th it was announced that Bulgarian tenor Spas Wenkoff died at age 84. Many will remember Wenkoff’s fabulous filmed performance as Tannhäuser opposite Dame Gwyneth Jones in the 1978 revival of Götz Friederich’s then controversial Bayreuth production. This wonderful performance was re-released last year on DVD. To view it today, the production seems rather tame except for the highly erotic ballet sequence.

Spas Wenkoff twice sang in San Francisco. He made his U.S. debut in San Francisco in 1978 in the role of Florestan (Fidelio) 1978 opposite Dame Gwyneth Jones (Sheri Greenawald was the Marzelline!). Wenkoff returned in 1980 to sing Tristan, again opposite Dame Gwyneth Jones (with cast members Thomas Stewart, Simon Estes and John Del Carlo).

Wenkoff studied and practiced law prior to embarking on his singing career.