Rebroff was born in Spandau, Berlin The son of a German father and a Russian-born mother. He grew up in Belzig and Halle (Saale). His real name was Hans-Rolf Rippert, but later took the stage name Ivan Rebroff. He was a member of the renowned Boys Choir Stadtsingechor zu Halle. Rebroff studied from 1951 to 1959 song at the music conservatory in Hamburg. 1958 he became a singer by the two German choir, which was inspired by Russian folk music.
Rebroff got his big break in 1968. When he played Paris Tevjo in the musical Anatevka (over 1400 performances), known in Denmark as Fiddler on the Roof. He also had many lead roles in operas, theater, films and appeared frequently in television broadcasts and concerts in concert halls and churches. On his first Ruslandstourne in 1988 he was received enthusiastically by the Russian audience.
He also appeared in his final year with approx. 200 concerts annually, but with predominantly classic church concerts. He gave his last concert on 9th December in Vienna. Then he took because of health problems a concert break.
He lived partly in Zell-Weierbacher, a small town near Offenburg and on the Greek island Skopelos.
Ivan Rebroff died 27th February 2008, age 76 years, of heart failure at a hospital in Frankfurt. His last wish was to be burned at a ceremony in Germany and that his ashes be scattered in the Greek seas.
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