Ivan Rebroff is a world-renowned bass
with a vocal range of almost five octaves. Born July 31, 1931 as Hans Rippert
to parents of Russian
ancestry, he had intended to study violin as a child, but ended up studying singing at the Hamburg
State College of Music under the famous Oscar Rees
Well known throughout Europe for his operatic and Russian folk song recordings, he made his United States debut in 1970. Oddly, he did not visit Russia until 1989. However, he has said on numerous occasions that he "has a Russian soul" - plainly evidenced by the fact that he uses the Russian form of his given German name. (Hans is a diminutive of Johannes, equivalent to both John in English and Ivan in Russian.)
I am unable to compile a complete discography, as much of his older work - recorded for now-defunct labels - is out of print, and information about him is as scarce as his old LPs. In fact, I am reluctant to even attempt to begin such a task, since he supposedly has released over one hundred albums. Of these hundred-plus albums I only own four and know of a paltry dozen or so others. However, I will say that my favorite of these is "Festliche Weihnacht", a collection of german Christmas carols, where he is accompanied by the Regensburger Domspatzen (domspatzen: "cathedral sparrows" - the name of a boys' choir). During Still, Still, Still, in particular, he uses both ends of his bewildering vocal range.
He currently lives at an estate in Greece on the island of Skopelos. His musical career is quite active and he still records on the Elisar label.