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Hugo Rudel (Havelberg/Mark: 7 Feb 1868 - Berlin: 27 Nov 1934): Choirmaster, Bayreuth, Berlin State Opera, Berlin Domchores. Hermine Kittel as Erda (Vienna, 2 Dec 1879 - Vienna, 7 Aprl 1948). Austrian contralto. She began her career as an actress, then studied singing with Amalie Materna in Vienna. At the Vienna Hofoper she sang at first under Mahler’s direction, and later in the première of the revised version of Ariadne auf Naxos. At Bayreuth (1902, 1908) she sang Erda and various minor roles, and at the early Salzburg Festivals she was often heard as Marcellina in Figaro. American contralto Adrienne von Kraus-Osborne [nee Adrienne Eisbein] (2 Dec 1873: Buffalo, NY - 15 Jun 1951: Zell-an-der-Ziller, Austria) as Waltraute. She studied in Germany with Auguste Gotze (Leipzig) and Felix von Kraus, who became her husband in 1899. Her debut (1893) was at the Leipzig Opera. She sang there until 1908 and them became a member of the Royal Opera in Munich. She appeared at the Bayreuth Festivals from 1902-1909. German soprano Martha Leffler-Burckard (1865-1954) as Ortrud. After studies in Dresden and Paris she made her debut (1888) in Strasbourg. She appeared in Breslau, Cologne, Bremen, Weimar, Wiesbaden, and Covent Garden. She appeared regularly at Bayreuth from 1906 through 1909 as Kundry, Sieglinde (Die Walküre), and Ortrud (Lohengrin). Postmarked from Bayreuth on 13 Aug 1909. At the Metropolitan Opera (1908) she was seen as Leonore (Fidelio), and the Götterdämmerung and Die Walküre Brünnhildes. Circa 1909. The most famous Baron Ochs (Der Rosenkavalier) was Austrian bass Richard Mayr (1877-1935). Strauss said that he had Mayr in mind all along as he created the music associated with this character. However, contractual obligations with the Vienna Court Opera prevented Mayr from appearing in the Dresden world premiere. He did introduce Ochs to Vienna, and later triumphed in this role in London, Salzburg and Bayreuth. Mayr's impact at a 1924 Covent Garden performance was summed up by Ernest Newman when he said, "His smile and whistle during Annina's reading of the letter said more than a page of words could have ever done." Seen here as Hagen.
German conductor, Michael Balling (28 Aug 1866: Würzburg-Heidingsfeld - 1 Sep 1925: Darmstadt). He trained as a violist and played in the opera orchestras of Mainz and Schwerin. In 1895 he became the musical director of Sir Frank Benson's Shakespearean company in England. He returned to Germany and became a violinist with the Bayreuth Festival orchestra. He eventually moved into the position as an assistant to several of the Festivals, and conducted there regularly between 1904-14 and 1924-25. His final post was as musical director in Darmstadt (1919–25). In 1908 he married the widow of Hermann Levi. Austrian soprano Anna von Mildenburg (1872-1947) made her debut (1897) in Hamburg. In that same year she made her first of many appearances at the Bayreuth Festivals. Her first contract (1897) with the Vienna Court Opera stipulated that her salary be 14,000 guilders per year. With that she was required to fulfill ten performances per month with no leave of absence other than theater vacations and a summer break. Although von Mildenburg was married to the poet and playwright Hermann Bahr, she was romantically linked to the married conductor Gustav Mahler with whom she often worked and who was largely responsible for building her career. Seen here as Ortrud. German bass Rudolf Moest (Karlsruhe: 22 Apr 1872 - Vienna: 28 Apr 1919) as König Heinrich. He made his debut (1892) in Strassburg as Ruggiero in Halevy's La Juive. From 1896-1914 he appeared in Hannover. He was seen at the 1909 Bayreuth Festival singing König Heinrich (Lohengrin) and Titurel (Parsifal). After that he sang in Stuttgart, Munich, and Weimar.