Bayreuth Singers - Series 4 - Page 2

Historic Opera
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German baritone Gerhard Huesch (Hannover: 21 [or 2] Feb 1901 - Viehhausen bei Regensburg: 21 Nov 1984) as Wolfram von Eschenbach. At first he was an actor in Hannover but quickly put that aside in favor of voice training with Hans Emge. He made his operatic debut (1923) in Osnabrück. His longest affiliation was with the Berlin State Opera (1930 - 1944), and guest appearances took him to London, Milan, Hamburg, Vienna, Dresden, Munich, and Bayreuth. He was well known as a lieder singer, and his later years were devoted to concerts and master courses in the interpretation of lieder. Norwegian Bass, Ivar Andrésen (1896-1940), as Hunding and Hermann. German baritone Herbert Janssen as Wolfram von Eschenbach. Notice how similar this image is to Huesch's Wolfram in image (5). Only the harp seems to be different. Janssen (Cologne: 22 Sep 1895 - NY: 3 Jun 1965) made his debut (1922) at the Berlin State Opera. He made his first appearance at the Bayreuth Festival in 1930 under the baton of Toscanini. He made regular appearances in Bayreuth until 1937 when, for political reasons, he left Germany. He then sang in London and France. He eventually emigrated to the United States, arriving aboard the French liner Ile de France on 17 Jan 1939. From 1939-52 he appeared at the Metropolitan Opera. He made his Met debut (28 Jan 1939) as Wolfram in Tannhäuser. Oscar Thompson of the New York Sun said this about Janssen's seconding appearance as Wolfram: "His beautifully sung Wolfram was an important factor in the success of a sturdy, and in many respects admirable, performance of Tannhäuser .... In a shade better voice than when he made his New York debut ... Mr. Janssen treated the several airs of Wolfram much as the highest type of song interpreter might treat lieder of Schubert or Brahms. That is to say, he sang them with an affectionate regard for their poetic feeling as well as their musical qualities." Soprano Ruth Jost-Arden as Venus. Jost-Arden received vocal training in Berlin and in New York. Her first successes were on the concert stage. Her voice attracted the attention of Toscanini, who brought her to Bayreuth for the 1930 Festival where she made her debut as Venus in Tannhäuser. From 1931-40 she was the principal dramatic soprano at the Cologne Opera. She sang very little during World War II, and after 1945 she lived in Bayreuth.  American bass (of Ukrainian birth) Alexander Kipnis (Ukraine: 1/13 Feb 1891 - Westport, CT: 14 May 1978). Leading bass at the Berlin Städtische Oper (1917-29), then the Berlin Staatsoper (1930-35). From 1935 through 1938 he sang at the Vienna Staatsoper. His Bayreuth appearances were from 1927-33. Chicago, Wiesbaden, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, the Metropolitan Opera. Swedish soprano Nanny Larsén-Todsen (1884-1982) as Brünnhilde. She was a major attraction at the Bayreuth Festivals (1927-1931), particularly known for her Brünnhildes and Isolde. She was a first-rank Wagnerian singer.
Austrian soprano Maria Müller (29 Jan 1898 - 13 Mar 1958) as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser. Her first appearance in Bayreuth was in 1930, singing there regularly until 1944. Müller's initial musical training took place at the Conservatory in Prague. She made her debut (1919) in Linz as Elsa in Lohengrin. She was also seen in Brünn (1920-21), Prague (1921-23) and Munich (1924-25). She made her Metropolitan Opera debut (21 Jan 1925) as Sieglinde in Die Walküre. Her diverse roles there included Butterfly, Freia, Octavian, Mimi, Elivira (Giovanni), Agathe (Freischütz), Eva (Meistersinger), Maria (Simon Boccanegra), and Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) among others. She sang at the Met until 1935. Müller was seen frequently at the Bayreuth Festivals from 1930 to 1944, and at the Salzburg Festivals from 1931 to 1934. She retired from singing in 1952 and lived in Bayreuth.
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