Today, the magic world is mourning the passing of Siegfried Fischbacher (1939-2021) of Siegfried & Roy fame. According to his sister, who is quoted in German news media, Siegfried passed on peacefully on Wednesday evening local time in Las Vegas. Only a few days ago it had been reported that he had terminal cancer. His partner Roy had succumbed to the COVID-19 beast just a few months ago.
Siegfried was one of the very greatest, who has brought stage magic and illusion, together with Roy and their animals, to new exciting heights. Their role in establishing full evening shows for magicians in Las Vegas, in earning top dollars and in helping transform the notorious gamblers’ city into a family-friendly entertainment place cannot be underestimated. Plus, Siegfried & Roy perfectly embodied the American dream, rising “from rags to riches” by hard work, innovations, and perseverance. And although they became superstars and rubbed shoulders nightly with the even bigger V.I.P.s, they never forgot their humble provenience and remained likeable, accessible fellows, who also helped a lot of budding magicians on their paths.
Watching their spectacular show, laden with showgirls, dragons and elephants, from a front row seat in the early 90s will always remain one of my fondest memories in magic. At one point, I stared at Siegfried in utter disbelief and fascination. By chance, he looked directly at me, his lips slowly and silently forming the words “Look over there,” and he pointed to where Roy was about to reappear a moment later. A magical moment I will always treasure.
Rest in peace, Siegfried, and thank you for your magic “beyond belief.” SARMOTI forever!
Saddened to hear of the passing of RoyHorn from coronavirus complications yesterday at the age of 75.
Siegfried & Roy took the magic world by storm, from humble beginnings to their breathtaking vision and success of a modern grand illusion show spectacle, featuring tigers, elephants and dragons, ruling the Las Vegas Strip for decades and thus pioneering the city’s change from a notorious gamblers’ joint in the desert into a family-friendly fun park.
One of my oldest memories goes back to seeing, as a boy, their stunning PR shot of Roy floating through a hoop high above Siegfried’s head somewhere in the desert, in bright sunlight. No stage, no backdrop, no dim lighting. It was featured on the cover of a TV guide, and it left me speechless. I am grateful to have seen their show back in the 90s, when they were in their prime, and I will always cherish it as one of the top magic experiences of my life.
Roy had a magic way of connecting with animals of all kinds. On stage, he was highly energetic and athletic, and he aired an infectious, exuberant joy. Fellow illusionist Jonathan Pendragon has called him “the best ‘Cat’ magician I ever saw.” Both Siegfried & Roy and The Pendragons performed the fastest and best versions of all the Metamorphosis illusions out there.
I am sure Roy enjoyed every minute of his life with his animals, his partner and their magic. He will be lovingly remembered by the magic community and innumerable fans worldwide.
Rest in peace, Roy, and thank you for all the magic and the joy.
Hi, Hans! About six weeks into your new show at the Excalibur in Las Vegas, how has it been going so far? Has the show already been worked in well?
Hans Klok: We are definitely proud of the show we are performing here. We took enough time to produce it already in Europe, and the results are extremely rewarding. It is running smoothly and the reviews are fantastic. It was my dream for many years to come back here to Las Vegas and we are settling down very well.
On Instagram you have already posted a number of photos with magic and other celebrities… So how have you been received by the magic community on your return to Vegas?
I have always felt very welcome by the magic community here in Vegas, especially by Siegfried & Roy, who have always been my great inspiration. They have been to our show recently and were very enthusiastic and excited for me, as was my dear friend Criss Angel when he was here. Lance Burton has also been a good friend of mine for many years and it was fabulous for us to catch up again.
Who is your main audience, and how are the fill rates of the showroom doing?
We are having great response from audiences from all over the world. Las Vegas is obviously a huge tourist magnet for all nationalities. We are filling the room nicely with a multitude of international visitors, but on saying that, our main audience still seems to be Americans, people from Germany and of course the Dutch.
You deliver about 50 illusions in 70 minutes, which is an amazing feat. So what‘s your smallest trick in the show, and what‘s your biggest illusion?
The smallest trick is the Floating Light Bulb, which has a gigantic effect on the audience. I am proud to have the permission from the Blackstone Family to be the only illusionist today who is allowed to perform this miracle world-wide.
I guess the largest illusion is the Eclipse, in which I produce three lovely assistants from nowhere. And I really love the Suspended Animation from John Taylor, which is one of the best illusions created in the last 20 years.
At age 50 now, is it getting harder to stay „the fastest magician in the world?“ How do you maintain your fitness level outside of the show?
If you are passionate enough about anything that you do, you can remain at the top of your profession for as long as this passion drives you. When I am performing, I feel ageless. So I guess that being the fastest magician in the world is still going to be my label for a long time. And going to the gym every day and swimming a few laps in my pool every evening helps as well.
You have three sentences for a good pitch. Why should families visit your show, and why should magicians also take notice?
To sum it up in one sentence: Apart from my performance being a tornado of illusions, this show is also a tribute to some of the greatest magicians and illusionists of all time, so the audience get to re-live such great moments through the history of magic, for example the mysterious Floating Light Bulb from Harry Blackstone and not to forget the fabulous Moretti Sword Box.
In a recent portrait of yours in de Volkskrant you said that, on the one hand, everything in Vegas is „fake and plastics,“ on the other hand it feels very much like a special place for you. Why is that?
Hey, that’s Las Vegas. There is no place like this in the world!
Heel erg bedankt for taking the time to answer my questions, und weiterhin alles Gute, Hans!
(Interview: Jan Isenbart)
Watch the TV trailer for the new show here:
Visit Hans Klok’s website and get tickets for his show at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino (starting at 44,95 $) here.
Read more interviews with magic celebrities in English and German on ZZZAUBER here.
Nach dem wahrscheinlichen Aus der geplanten sechsteiligen Serie über das Leben von Siegfried & Roy könnte das Drehbuch nun zumindest 2021 in einem Kinofilm münden und danach als Zweiteiler ins Fernsehen kommen. Laut unbestätigten Medienberichten ist auch Michael “Bully” Herbig mit in das Projekt eingestiegen, allerdings wohl nicht als Darsteller…
Wie u.a. das Online-Medienmagazin DWDL.de dieser Tage vermeldete, steht die geplante sechsteilige Serie über das Leben von Siegfried & Roy nach zwei Jahren Entwicklungszeit offenbar vor dem Aus. Demnach erteilte der WDR Rundfunkrat dem millionenteuren Projekt eine Absage. Die ARD-Produktionsfirma Degeto hat indes angekündigt, weiter für die Realisierung der Serie kämpfen zu wollen.