About Ivan Rebroff
July 31, 1931 - February 27, 2008
|Place of Birth||:||Berlin, Germany|
|Also Known As||:||Hans-Rolf Ripper|
|Imdb Profile||:||IMDB Profile|
Ivan Rebroff (31 July 1931 – 27 February 2008) was a German-born vocalist, allegedly of Russian ancestry, who rose to prominence for his distinct and extensive vocal range of four and a half octaves, ranging from the soprano to bass registers. Rebroff was born in Berlin as Hans-Rolf Rippert to German parents. His parents were Paul Rippert, an engineer born in 1897 in Liebenwerda, and Luise Fenske, born in Bydgoszcz (then part of Prussian Bromberg). He claimed Russian descent, and while often disputed, this has never been totally refuted. In a 1989 interview with Izvestia, he said "according to documents I am Ivan Pavlovich Rebroff" (Russian: Иван Павлович Ребров). He studied singing at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. Although his knowledge and pronunciation of Russian was imperfect, he became famous for singing Russian folk songs, but also performed opera, light classics and folk songs from many other countries. He was known on stage for his gusto. He performed over 6,000 concerts in his career, including a two-year seven-day-a-week stint at the French opera, singing and acting, among other greats, the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. Rebroff still performed 12 shows in 14 days when he was well into his seventies, such as on an Australian tour. Ivan Rebroff described himself as international, the "connection between East and West". He became a citizen of Greece and lived on the Greek island of Skopelos in the Sporades. Rebroff was homosexual. As well as being a phenomenal singer, videos such as this and photos such as this suggest that he was at least a reasonable violinist and keyboardist (he is pictured playing a church organ but may have also played the piano). He died in Frankfurt after a long illness. Four days after his death, his brother Horst Rippert, who is nine years his senior (and by his own unsubstantiated accounts shot down Antoine de Saint Exupéry during World War II), claimed part of Rebroff's vast fortune. Source: Article "Ivan Rebroff" from Wikipedia in English, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.