The German bass, Helmut Fehn, grew up in Bad Reichenhall, Rosenheim and Munich and began the study of the jurisprudence at the Munich University. However, from 1937 to 1940 he trained his voice with Paul Bender in Munich.
Helmut Fehn made his debut in 1940 at the Pfalztheater of Kaiserslautern. In 1941, after Erfurt, he signed with the Opera House of Düsseldorf. Since then he was a member of the Opera of Düsseldorf, the later Deutschen Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg. In 1951 he participated in the premiere of the opera Troilus und Cressida by Winfried Zillig, in 1957 in the premiere of Die Räuber by Giselher Klebe, in 1961 in Die Ameise by Peter Ronnefelds, in 1969 at the Festival of Schwetzingen in the premiere of G. Klebe’s Märchen von der schönen Lilie. At the Bayreuth Festival of 1942 he sang Fasolt in Rheingold, and in 1943-1944 Konrad Nachtigall in Meistersingern. He also appeared as a guest at other opera theatres in Germany, France and Italy, as well as in 1960 at the Wiener Staatsoper (as Kontschak in Prince Igor by Borodin). In more than thirty years of his affiliation with the Düsseldorf Opera House he sang over one hundred roles from the bass-baritone repertoire and was appointed as honour member. In 1985 he still appeared in Düsseldorf as a guest.
Of his many stage roles should especially be noted Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Kaspar in Freischütz, Sarastro in Zauberflöte, Pater Guardioan in Verdi’s La forza del destino, Kezal in Verkauften Braut, Gremin in Eugen Onegin and Boris Godunov.
Recordings: HMV-Electrola (Meistersinger in a performance from Bayreuth, 1943); on Cetra Opera Live he sings Ramphis in Aida (broadcast from Hamburg, 1951); on Melodram in R. Wagner’s Rienzi and in Stabat Mater of Rossini; on Garnet-Records in Bach Cantatas and in Masses of F. Schubert.
Courtesy: Bach Cantatas Website