Bayreuth Singers - Series 4 - Page 1

Historic Opera
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German bass-baritone Rudolf Bockelmann (Bodenteich: 2 Apr 1892 - Dresden: 9 Oct 1958) as Kurwenal. He made his debut (1921) in Leipzig; Herald (Lohengrin). He appeared regularly at the Bayreuth Festivals from 1928 to 1942. Before World War II he sang in Hamburg, Berlin, Covent Garden, and Chicago. He was sympathetic to the Nazi cause so his post war appearances were limited to the German stages. He was a German Kammersänger, well known for his outstanding Hans Sachs. Karin Branzell (Stockholm: 24 Sep 1891 - Altadena, CA: 15 Dec 1974) as Fricka. She was a pupil of Thekla Hofer (Stockholm), Louis Bachner (Berlin), and Enrico Rosati (NY). Her debut (1912) was as Prince Sarvilaka in d'Albert's Izeÿl at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, where she remained until 1918. She then joined the Berlin State Opera until 1923. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Fricka in 1924, and she was on the roster until 1944. She appeared at the Bayreuth Festivals in 1930-31. Marcelle Bunlet (Fonteney-le-Comte: 9 Oct 1900 - 13 Dec 1991), seen here as Kundry. Debut as Brunnhilde (1928) in Gotterdammerung. Karl Eduard Maria Elmendorff (Dusseldorf: 25 Oct 1891 – 21 Oct 1962) was a German opera conductor. He studied at the Cologne College of Music. He conducted in a number of cities including Milan, Dusseldorf, Mainz, Hagen, Munich, and at the Bayreuth Festival from 1927-1942. In 1937 he joined the NSDAP (Nazi Party). Gotthelf Pistor (1887 - 1947). He made his debut (1923) in Nuremburg. He performed in Würzburg, Darmstadt, Magdeburg, Berlin, and Cologne. He sang at the Bayreuth Festivals between 1925 and 1931. In 1931 at the San Francisco Opera, he was seen as Stolzing, Tannhauser, and Lohengrin. Norwegian tenor Gunnar Graarud (1 Jun 1886 - 6 Dec 1960). Graarud was trained in Berlin and made his operatic debut (1919) in Kaiserslauten. He made his first Bayreuth appearance in 1927. In 1930, as Siegfried in Götterdämmerung, his performance resulted in the following comment from Ernest Newman, "[Graarud] came so near to complete loss of voice in the last act that probably Hagen saved his life by killing him when he did." By 1933 Graarud had left Germany for political reasons. He also sang at Mannheim, the Berlin Volksoper, Salzburg, Vienna, Covent Garden, and had a good reputation in Scandinavia.
German conductor, Wilhelm Furtwängler (Berlin: 25 Jan 1886 – Baden-Baden: 30 Nov 1954), son of Adolf Furtwängler. One of the greatest orchestral conductors of the 20th cent., he studied music in Munich (with Rheinberger and Schillings), where he grew up. His early conducting engagements were in Lübeck (1911–15), Mannheim (1915–20), Strasbourg, and Zurich. In 1922 he succeeded Arthur Nikisch as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and shortly thereafter also became principal conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic. Furtwängler was a regular conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1925 to 1927 and its permanent conductor in the season of 1937–38. He conducted at the Bayreuth in 1931, 1936, 1937, 1943, and 1944, as well as in 1951 after the war. He was Hitler’s favorite conductor, and while he was never proven to be a Nazi, his position with that régime prevented any further conducting in the United States. 
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