Tappy was born in Lausanne. He studied with Fernando Carpi at the Geneva Conservatory and with Ernst Reichert in Salzburg. He made his concert debut in Strasbourg in 1959 as the Evangelist in the St. Matthew Passion. He made his American debut as Don Ottavio at the San Francisco Opera in 1974. That same year, the tenor first appeared at Covent Garden, in the name part of La clemenza di Tito.
Among his recordings are L'Orfeo (1968), Pelléas et Mélisande (conducted by Armin Jordan, 1979), and Die Zauberflöte (opposite Ileana Cotrubaș as Pamina with Zdzisława Donat as the Queen of Night, conducted by James Levine, 1980). Tappy was also featured in two films by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle: L'incoronazione di Poppea (conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, 1979) and La clemenza di Tito (with Tatiana Troyanos and Carol Neblett, 1980).
Tappy was known for his wide range of concert and opera repertoire. He retired in 1982.
- Laura Williams Macy The Grove Book of Opera Singers - 2008 p485 "Tappy,. Eric. (b Lausanne, 19 May 1931). Swiss tenor. He studied at the Geneva Conservatoire with Fernando Carpi"
- Jacques Lonchampt L'opéra aujourd'hui; journal de musique, 1970 p153 "On a découvert un étonnant Zoroastre en Éric Tappy."
- Short biography
- Jacques Tchamkerten (2005). "Éric Tappy". In Andreas Kotte (ed.). Theaterlexikon der Schweiz / Dictionnaire du théâtre en Suisse / Dizionario Teatrale Svizzero / Lexicon da teater svizzer [Theater Dictionary of Switzerland] (in French). Vol. 3. Zürich: Chronos. pp. 1795–1796. ISBN 978-3-0340-0715-3. LCCN 2007423414. OCLC 62309181.
- Éric Tappy in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.