After completing high school, German tenor Stefan Vinke earned his master’s degree in singing, vocal pedagogy, and sacred music (including organ) at the Music Academy of Cologne and was immediately engaged by the Staatstheater Karlsruhe/Germany. In 1996, the young tenor received a scholarship from the Stipendiat der Richard-Wagner-Stipendienstiftung Bayreuth.
From 1999 to 2005, Stefan Vinke was engaged to sing the young heroic tenor-roles at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, including Tristan, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Siegmund, Erik, in addition to other leading tenor roles: Idomeneo, Don José, Hoffmann, Florestan - all with great success.
In 2000, Stefan Vinke was named “best young singer of the year” by the international opera magazine “Opernwelt”. 2003 saw his very successful US debut with the Opera Company of Philadelphia as Bacchus in “Ariadne auf Naxos.” In the season 03/04 he had several important debuts in new productions: first he sang the title role in “Andrea Chenier” (Staatstheater Saarbrücken), then “Tristan und Isolde” (Nationaltheater Mannheim) and finally, The Refugee in “Intolleranza” (Staatstheater Saarbrücken). In the autumn of 2004, he reprised Tristan in a new production at Opera Halle, directed by Rene Kollo. He performed as Siegfried and Florestan for his Opera Cologne debut and also gave his debut at Semper Opera Dresden in “Arabella”.
With the season 2005/2006, he was engaged by Oper Leipzig to sing the leading tenor roles in all their upcoming Wagner productions, including Tristan, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Erik and Rienzi. In 2007, he debuted at Grand Théâtre de Genève as Bacchus in Ariadne, and reprised his recent Siegfried in Cologne. Next he sang “Intolleranza” in a new production in Munich and Max (“Der Freischütz”) at Staatstheater Nürnberg, and was reengaged to sing Lohengrin in the following season. This was followed by a very successful Siegfried with Maestro Jeffrey Tate at La Fenice in Venice. In the summer of 2008, Stefan Vinke sang his first Tannhäuser at the Eutiner Festspiele, followed by Siegfried with Graham Vick in Teatro Sao Carlo Lisbon. In 2009, he opened the season at La Fenice in Venice, singing Paul in Die Tote Stadt. Later that year, he debuted Siegfried in Götterdämmerung (also at La Fenice) before completing the Ring Cycle in Lisbon, also as Siegfried.
After singing Tristan in Cologne and Lohengrin in both Stuttgart and Leipzig, in 2010 Stefan Vinke undertook Siegfried in the entire Ring Cycle in Cologne and Berlin, and also in Götterdämmerung at the Salzburg Osterfestspiele, under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. With the role debut of Walther von Stolzing in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at Oper Leipzig, Mr. Vinke completed his Wagner repertoire. In December 2010 he made his debut at the Opera Bastille in Paris as Bacchus. This year has seen him among other projects again in Intolleranza in Venice and in the title role of Tristan in Hong Kong.
In summer 2011 he performed Stolzing in Meistersinger and Tristan in Tristan und Isolde at the Bayreuth Festival.
Future projects include:
Mahler cycle with Lorin Maazel in London
“Lohengrin” – Toulon
Jim Mahony, “Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny” – Leipzig
Paul “Die tote Stadt” – Sydney
Siegfried “Ring” – London Covent Garden and Seattle
“Lohengrin” (title role) – Bejing
Siegmund “Walküre” – Leipzig
Alviano “Die Gezeichneten” – Cologne
Siegfried “Götterdämmerung” – Stuttgart
Stefan Vinke has worked with famous conductors, including Jeffrey Tate, Sir Simon Rattle, Lothar Zagrosek, Donald Runnicles, Ulf Schirmer, Jun Märkel, Leopold Hager, Michael Gielen, Adam Fischer, Markus Stenz, Dennis Russel Davies and Philippe Jordan.
Aside from his strong presence on the operatic stage, Stefan Vinke is in demand as a concert singer, whose wide-ranging repertoire is at home in all styles and venues.
His concert engagements lead him all over Europe, as well as to North-, Central- and South America, to Asia and Israel.