January 12, 1943 ~ March 15, 2019
Peter de Caprio
Klaus Peter Wetzler
January 12, 1943 - March 15, 2019
Klaus Peter Wetzler, AKA Peter de Caprio, was born in Germany. When Peter was 13 years old, his goal was to live in America! He discovered that if he became a European trained chef, he would have the freedom to find a position in most any county in the world. After completing his training as an apprentice and travelling to eight European countries as a journeyman, studying and learning the cuisine of each country, he became a European trained young chef.
At 21 years of age, Peter immigrated to the United States of America. When he arrived in New York City, he had a young chef’s position awaiting him at the Regency Hotel. After that he took a very special position as a chef at the Waldorf Towers Hotel in New York City. During this time, he continued to study music.
Peter studied voice, composition, and conducting at Columbia University, New York City, followed by continued studies at Manhattan School of Music, also in New York City, focusing on vocal operatic and stage presentations. During this time he was coached privately in vocal technique and repertory, with Mme. Kersting-Rose in Yonkers, New York. Through George Cehanovsky, of the Metropolitan Opera, Peter received the rare opportunity to study advanced vocal technique with the renowned professor Otto Watrin, teacher of Elizabeth Rethberg, in Cologne, Germany. This resulted in performing two operas, several song cycles, and symphonic works, in Cologne, Aachen, and Duisburg, Germany.
In Florence, Italy, Peter joined Franco Fontana’s studio with intense focus on interpretation, staging, and presentation of Italian opera. Thereafter, Peter coached with Salvatore Bastianelli, in Genova, Italy, resulting in performances of operas in several opera houses, as well as arias, scenes, and Italian songs in concert format.
Returning to the States, Peter began coaching with Gerhard Pechner and Alberta Maziello, both of the Metropolitan Opera to extend his repertory of operas, including English language operas. He also coached light opera, musicals, American songs, and ballads with Daniel Rosen, also in New York City. Peter performed operas, arias and scenes, song cycles, art songs, excerpts from musicals, and American songs, and ballads with several organizations such as the Liederkranz Foundation and the New York Grand Opera Company in the New York City area. Thereafter, Peter joined the Holland American Line for two years and performed the above mentioned categories, on the ships, Statendam and Rotterdam, under the direction of Ray D’more.
After his move to the west coast (San Francisco) Peter focused on American music, in all its beautiful variations. He developed a burning desire for the studies of American Concert music, and especially music for the vocal arts. He acquired a large repertory of songs from light opera and musicals, along with the concert songs and ballads, with further emphasis on rediscovering lost or forgotten compositions, especially those with patriotic themes. To dedicate time to compose a series of orchestral compositions, Peter began teaching vocal method and structure to young singers, among them several members of the San Francisco Opera Chorus, then director, Richard Bradshaw.
During this period, Peter entered a cooperative venture and agreement with the Franz Schubert Foundation of Germany and Europe (Thomas Franz Schubert, President), to include American composers, such as George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Cole Porter, and Stephen Foster in their recitals and concert programs. Taking time out, Peter traveled to Regensburg, Germany to perform the songs of these composers with overwhelming audience approval. Peter made it his challenge to bring more American music to audiences abroad and especially here, at home, with the glorious addition of the sounds of patriotic music.
After moving to Las Vegas, Peter founded the “American Music Festival Corporation”, a Nevada non-profit corporation with the express purpose of performing American music in all of its splendor and with its unique, rich and beautiful sounds. Peter presented, such a rediscovered American song (“This Land”), on Fourth of July, 1996. He performed a set of beautiful American Ballads in the Concert, Under the Stars at Allegro Park, Seven Hills, Las Vegas. Peter was principal vocal soloist in the Christmas Holiday Spectacular, on December 19, 1997, at Artemus Ham Hall, UNLV, Las Vegas, Nevada. He also starred with the American Music Festival in the Grand Spring Music Festival, in Artemus Ham Hall on May 13, 2000. Peter was a composer and creator of modern ballet. Las Vegas saw two of Peter’s World Premier’s: the hauntingly, dramatic DRACULA and the romantically staged, “Love Rhapsody”.
Peter’s beautiful, extraordinary, tenor voice was spectacular, warm, smooth, vibrant, heartfelt, and soulful. He mastered the vocal art of opera, American ballads, Inspirational songs, and Hawaiian songs. His opera voice had “squillo” (Italian: “Squillante”, a voice which is clear, ringing, vibrant, full and rich, with magnificent sound and splendor that fills the concert hall!). The unique, very special singing method that he learned from Otto Watrin, may never be heard again. Peter sang from his heart, his deep soul, his bright spirit, reflecting his high spiritual qualities, magnified by his extraordinary life experiences. He communicated the meaning of the song, directly to the hearts and souls of his audiences. He has the extraordinary record of singing 20 high C’s in a row! The Eternal Wish is that More of the World, would have heard Peter’s beautiful, phenomenal voice! Singing and Music was his World, his Meaning, his Splendor, his Talent, his Gift, and his greatest Passion! Anton Bruckner was his favorite classical composer. He was in the midst of working on a recording of beautiful American songs, ballads, and inspirational vocal selections.
Recitals and Concerts Performed:
Die Schoene Muellerin Franz Schubert
Die Dichterliebe Robert Schumann
An die ferne Geliebte Ludwig van Beethoven
Vier ernste Gesaenge Johannes Brahms
Songs of a Wayfarer Gustav Mahler
Songs of the Earth Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor Ludwig van Beethoven
Requiem Guiseppe Verdi
Peter taught me that passionate Goals give meaning to life. Without the burning desire to accomplish our goals, life does not have the intense, beautiful meaning that it deserves. What a Gift life is!
Peter was the most attentive, loving, kind, caring husband anyone could ever be honored to share life with. His attention to every, of the smallest detail, was utterly amazing! He was a highly intelligent, extraordinarily gifted and talented, exceptionally creative, and highly intuitive, spiritual individual. He was the most loving, understanding, supportive, patient father. Peter was a man of highest integrity, intelligence, and unusual intuition and perception. He had begun writing a book titled, The Original Immigrant. He stood up strongly, and urgently for Fairness and Justice for All, in America, and in the World around us.
Sabrinah Muyskens-Wetzler remains his loving wife. Peter’s Luminous Light and Bright, Eternal Spirit will be a guiding Inspiration; and his deep Love will live and shine in me forever! Chariese Wetzler remains his loving daughter. His faith in her, his guidance, his patient spirit will be with her forever! We are so Thankful!
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