The German character tenor Michael Gniffke has completed a business education before studying classical singing at the Zurich Conservatory with his father, the opera singer Rudolf A. Hartmann. Subsequently, he continued his studies with Alfred Muff, Robert Schunk, Gudrun Bär and Stefan Haselhoff. His debut was as Count Zedlau in «Wiener Blut». In addition to numerous leads in operetta, Michael Gniffke has sung Alfredo («La Traviata»), Tamino («The Magic Flute»), Hoffmann («Tales of Hoffmann»), Max («Freischütz»), Faust («Faust») and Don José («Carmen»). Recently he has been specializing in german character roles and contemporary repertoire: Witch («Hänsel und Gretel»), Cavalier («Cardillac»), Captain in «Wozzeck», the tenor part in Detlev Glanert «Drei Wasserspiele», etc, as well as expanding into roles of the German fach such as Paul («Die Tote Stadt»), Herod («Salome»), Loge («Das Rheingold»), Mime («Das Rheingold», «Siegfried») and Aegisth («Elektra»).
He was on stage in Magdeburg and at the Staatstheater Kassel («Elektra»), in Lübeck («Hänsel und Gretel») and in Dijon, where he sang the Captain («Wozzeck») in a highly regarded production together with the SWR Radio Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg. He sang Alwa («Lulu») at the Theater in Ulm 2017. 2018 he could partecipate at the National Opera in Lyon in the world creation of Alexander Raskatov’s opera «GerMANIA», which was broadcast in Radio France Musique. 2019/2020 he returns to the Staatstheater Kassel as Knusperhexe («Hänsel und Gretel») as well as Monostatos («Die Zauberflöte»). The French composer Brice Pauset dedicated Michael Gniffke the roles of father, Mr Samsa and traveller in his opera «Strafen», based on a play by Franz Kafka which premieres in Dijon 2020.
In the 2018 and 2019 season, Michael Gniffke sings for the first time at the Bayreuther Festspiele as 1. Edler in «Lohengrin». An extensive concert activity completes his musical commitment. The «Requiem» by Andrew Lloyd Webber, «Le Laudi» by Herman Suter and the «Requiem» by Giuseppe Verdi are some of the highlights of his concert career.
«Stimmkräftig war Michael Gniffke ein skurril dickbäuchiger Aegisth.»
«Michael Gniffke schliesslich gelingt eine eindrucksvolle Kurzstudie des angemassten Möchtegernherrschers Aegisth.»
(Online Musikmagazin 10/2015)
«… L’un des fous justement a retenu l’attention : celui du ténor Michael Gniffke, sans doute la plus dramatique, la plus théâtrale de toutes les voix. …»
(lalettredumusicien.fr; Wozzeck, Dijon, 10.05.2015)