Johannes Dunz is an occupational high-flyer. It’s in his blood: “I was supposed to become a pilot, and I actually loved the idea”, he says about the beginning of his career – in the army. Music and sport were his passions during his school years: from football to boxing and kickboxing, even shot-put! “Of course, force is mass times velocity, but it’s also got a lot to do with technique – just like singing. Anybody can throw a piece of metal, and anybody can make noises, but it only becomes singing with the right technique”, the tenor says today.
His great grandfather was a violinist, his great-grandmother played the zither, and his mother the piano. And it was his mother who encouraged Johannes to take up piano lessons. His teacher, Michael Goldhammer, sowed the seeds for his student’s love of music. But to begin with, he didn’t have the patience: “I became a singer because I was too lazy to practice the piano”, Johannes Dunz remarks about his journey with a note of self-deprecation. Although there was a phase of serious doubts, by the time he finished school, he already knew that he “couldn’t live without music”. But that was precisely the moment when he was told that he was a perfect fit for the military. So perfect, in fact, that all doors seemed to suddenly be opening up before him, and he had the chance to become a fighter pilot! It was real possibility. But to begin with, he had to get to know his new employer – in the Deutsche Garde, the German Guard Battalion. Which meant hours and hours of escort and parade duty, foot drills, official honour services, escort and parade duty, foot drills, escort and parade duty, official honour services … Only a third of the recruits he started with stuck at it – and Johannes Dunz: “you have a lot of time to think, and it teaches you discipline.”
Which is certainly an advantage if you land on the stage at the Salzburger Festspiele as a young singer, straight from your studies in Leipzig, and you find yourself standing next to greats such as Plácido Domingo, Juliane Banse and Anna Netrebko. “You have to practise, practise, practise, and for that you need patience”, Johannes Dunz remarks today, after productions in Gera, Leipzig, Dresden, Zurich, and two successful seasons in the Opera Studio of the Komische Oper Berlin.
“When I was offered Tony in West Side Story, I couldn’t believe it”. He had already marvelled at the production with his colleague Tansel Akzeybek. Back then, Johannes Dunz was sitting in the audience, and couldn’t imagine what was in store for him. But with effort and discipline, this tenor’s dreams are coming true. And for the 2016/17 season, Johannes Dunz is a member of the Ensemble of the Komische Oper Berlin. And he’s taking off.