Christian Franz – Presse

Siegfried, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe:
“Christian Franz might not fulfill the stereotype of the heroic tenor by optics, but as Siegfried the Bayreuth proven singer impresses with his vast experience in this role. He is one of the few heroic tenors who take piano instructions seriously, know to form the legato slurs as well as the outbreaks of the ‘Schmiedelieder’. His height which is provided with the necessary metal is smooth. The transformation from a violent nature boy to a man unsettled by the love for Brünnhilde he succeeds remarkably, also his stamina is amazing.” Die Rheinpfalz

Tristan und Isolde, Paris, (Concert, Radio France):

“He clearly is one of the most interesting heroic tenors at the moment: a sort of successor de Jean Cox (less powerful but more eloquent), quite far ahead of Peter Seiffert, Johann Botha, Lance Ryan, John Treleaven or Robert Dean Smith, all remarkably but limited by their na-tural instrument (Seiffert, Ryan), by justice (Ryan, Treleaven), their expressive engagement (Botha, Ryan) compared to Franz: a real master, whose fame is still miniscule in France except for the annual radio-broadcasting of the Bayreuth Festival.”

“And then the revelation, Christian Franz as Tristan. A revelation for the French, although he is already known as (Wagner) Heldentenor in Bayreuth. Let’s say it like this: Since the death of Wolfgang Windgassen in 1974, since when haven’t we had the chance to admire such a voice, a voice with brilliant timbre, powerful and subtle when it had to? The niveau was exceptional: of course you have Windgassen in mind (who hasn’t been replaced until today). Incredible! A technical genius with such passionate instinct for interpretation, such an engagement for his role although it was a concert version, is not all over. Christian Franz has given us supreme emotions.” La Revue du Spectacle

“As I have already said, I wanted to see the performance especially because of Christian Franz, a remarkable captivating Siegfried 2003 in Bayreuth […], whom I haven’t heard since then, but who has continued to concentrate on the heaviest roles of the repertoire. […] Then a miracle: the voice, without being incredibly voluminous, turns out to be with a seldom accuracy, and the metallic, the sharp and the timbre are unaffected! Even more, he reveals a facet that I have never heard before in the first act, expressive in the tiniest little phrase (the role is quite short though!). Ideally flexible on the knees, he gives kind of a very visual lesson what a healthy way to sing is, even in Wagner, by well placing and never forcing his voice […]. His great metallic density and his strong presentation give him the opportunity to be comprehensible […]. He shows an exceptional charisma, and reveals an extraordinary talent – I think he is the first Wagnerian that I really would love to hear singing a Lied (or as Evangelist)! Definitely the most interesting heroic tenor of our times […]!” Carnet sur sol

“Christian Franz’s approach to the role of Tristan is hard to describe. I remarked at one of the intervals that his way of not singing the part was somehow highly effective. Some people must hate his short phrasing and clever use of Sprechgesang instead of clearly-sung top notes. But that sounds bad, as if he were one of the barking-and-braying sort of Heldentenor, and he wasn’t: his timbre is bright and ringing (like what I call a ‘Janacek tenor’) and he most certainly has some very fine notes; and even in concert he acted his socks off (well, not literally, though by act three he had shed his jacket and pulled his black shirt out of his trousers) and the fragile, wounded, deeply human Tristan he made was convincing and affecting.”
Wagnertage Budapest:

“Christian Franz complains regularly in inter-views the Siegfried role: Too long, too high, especially the young Siegfried. And then he stands on the stage singing down the role as it was a mess. You could experience his young Siegfried in Budapest at last four years ago. Meanwhile, his stamina is beyond all question and his height is safer and brighter. You can argue this and that, among other things what has been said against his Siegmund. But every-thing else, than to bow to the overall perfor-mance would be philistinism, and the audience did not commit that in the sold out Palace of Arts. It celebrated Christian Franz as never before.”

Tristan und Isolde, Ruhr Triennale:

“Christian Franz (…) as present as Anja Kampe in voice and articulation.” Kölner Stadtanzeiger

“Christian Franz’ Tristan shows an enormous condition and penetrating power.” Focus

“Christian Franz’ Tristan shows condition and penetrating power.” Rheinische Post

“[…] who is expressed by Christian Franz with a strong hero-affect.” Süddeutsche Zeitung

“[…] Christian Franz as economically wise Tristan, with a tenor brilliance until the challenging third act.” FAZ

“Christian Franz […] performs his act with original dramatic esprit and clever economized voice.” Frankfurter Rundschau

“Christian Franz manages Tristan on high level, especially with an extraordinary piano […]” Die deutsche Bühne

Das Rheingold, Hamburg State Opera:

“Wagner singing is difficult and twice difficult to realize: Nearly a solo concert, a demonstration of the real thing, given by the magi-cian tenor Christian Franz as a side loge for the indisposed playing Peter Galliard. Not a word, not a consonant remains unutilized and all that is accompanied with rich colors from the cunning ‘helfen will
ich Dir, (Päuschen) Mime’ to intense increase.” Kultur Extra

„The stroke of luck this evening was the tragic coincidence, that Peter Gaillard only could play as Loge on stage, whereas Christian Franz sang from the side and played his own cynical jokes, a pure joy of hearing.” NOZ

Tristan and Isolde, Los Angeles Philharmonic:

“Mr. Franz’s deep-hued Tristan largely matched Ms. Brewer’s performance in heft, flexibility and emotional range.” The New York Times

“Christian Franz imbued Tristan with a touch of poetry, and sustained both stamina and incisiveness in the process.” Financial Times

Ariadne auf Naxos, Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden:

“Christian Franz as Bacchus could be a danger to the walls of the opera house. Strauss has given him only one not so long, but very violent scene which uses the heroic tenor with all his strength.”

Tristan und Isolde, Deutsche Oper Berlin:

“Christian Franz: is certainly the best Tristan, which is currently available. At its fe-ver monologues from the third act, you are tempted to hackle behind your own heart-beat in a red-eared way.” Kultur Extra, Das Online Magazin


Christian Franz