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”).
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. In 2018 he partecipated in the world creation of Alexander Raskatov’s opera “GerMANIA”, staged by Lyon Opera and broadcasted in Radio France Musique. He also took part in the Swiss premiere of Detlev Glanert’s “Drei Wasserspiele” based on a text by Thornton Wilder. 2019/2020 he returned 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 premiered in Dijon 2020.
Since the 2018 season, Michael Gniffke sings at the Bayreuther Festspiele as 1. Edler in “Lohengrin”. In the version for children of the “Meistersinger von Nürnberg” he could also be heard as Kunz Vogelsang in 2018.
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.