Franz-Josef Kapellmann studied singing at Cologne’s Musikhochschule under the tutelage of Professor Dieter Jacob. In 1973 he was engaged by Professor Seefehlner for Berlin’s German Opera. In 1975 Marek Janowski brought him to Dortmund, where he interpreted over fifty roles. His repertoire encompasses great roles of Italian and French operatic music. Franz-Josef Kapellmann gained fame primarily as a Wagnerian singer, for example, as Sixtus Beckmesser (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Wolfram (Tannhäuser), Kurwenal (Tristan und Isolde) and, recently, as Alberich (Der Ring des Nibelungen).
In 1992 Kapellmann was engaged by the Brussels Opera for the role of Alberich in a complete production of the Ring. Meanwhile, he also sang this role at Vienna’s and Hamburg’s Staatsoper, as well as in Wiesbaden, Dortmund, Bonn, Paris, Strasbourg, Valencia, Geneva, Bilbao, Munich, at Milan’s La Scala and Berlin’s Deutche Oper. In 1993 he also appeared at the Montepellier Festival in a performance of Rienzi with Pinchas Steinberg, the Salzburg Festival as Antinos (Dallapiccola’s Odysseus) and in Brussels as Pizarro (Fidelio). In 1993 he sang Alberich (Das Rheingold) at a concert in Cleveland under the baton of Christoph von Dohnányi. This famous conductor engaged him for a concert tour with the Cleveland Orchestra performing The Seven Deadly Sins in Cleveland, London (Royal Albert Hall) and at the Salzburg Festival. Singing the title role of Berg’s Wozzek in Cleveland and New York in 1995 was a continuation of the two artists’ fruitful collaboration. Furthermore, Franz-Josef Kapellmann performed the role of Don Pizzaro in Berlin and Dresden. At the 1994 Salzburg festival he sang Creon in Stravinsky’s opera Oedipus Rex. In 1995 he first appeared in Salzburg in the role of the Dutchman (The Flying Dutchman). Later on he rendered Don Pizarro (Fidelio) in Hamburg, as well as at the Edinburgh Festival and festivals in Catania, Paris and London, Klingsor (Parsifal) in Florence and Peter (Hänsel und Gretel) in Paris. Since the 1998/1999 season Franz-Josef Kapellmann has been a member of the Bonn Opera ensemble, where his notable appearances include Boris (Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District) and the title role of Verdi’s Rigoletto. In 1999 he opened the season of Milan’s La Scala as Don Pizzaro (Fidelio), and also sang this role in 2000 at concert performances at Rome’s Academia Santa Ceclia.