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Category Archives: Bass-Baritones

KARL PERRON, Bass-Baritone * 03 June 1858, Frankenthal, Germany + 15 July 1928, Dresden, Germany;

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Karl Perron, born Karl Pergamenter and also known as Carl Perron, (3 June 1858 – 15 July 1928) was a German bass-baritone. A Kammersänger of the Dresden State Opera, he created leading roles in three operas by Richard Strauss – Jochanaan in Salome, Orest in Elektra, and Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier.

Biography
Karl Perron was born in Frankenthal to one of the city’s prominent families. His father was an art collector and numismatist. Another of his relatives, Phillip Perron (1840–1907), was the court sculptor to Ludwig II of Bavaria. After studies with Julius Hey in Berlin, Joseph Hasselbeck in Munich, and Julius Stockhausen in Frankfurt, Perron made his debut in Leipzig in 1884 as Wolfram in Tannhäuser. He sang in Liepzig until 1891 when he became a member of the Dresden State Opera. Perron remained with the Dresden company until his retirement in 1924, and sang there in three world premieres of operas by Richard Strauss – Jochanaan (John the Baptist) in Salome (1905), Orest (Orestes) in Elektra (1909), and Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier (1911).

Perron was a distinguished Wagnerian singer and appeared at Bayreuth from 1889 to 1904 where his roles included Wotan, Amfortas, and King Marke. Charles Webber, who had been a voice coach at the Dresden State Opera from 1908 to 1911 recalled that Perron was past the peak of his career by then but still an impressive singer, especially in the title role of The Flying Dutchman and as Wotan. According to Webber, although Perron’s top notes were occasionally forced and his intonation sometimes faulty, he retained an intense and mesmerizing stage presence which obscured the flaws. Outside the Wagner and Strauss repertoire, Perron’s other notable roles were Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin.

Perron taught singing after his retirement. His house in Dresden was filled with his own art collection, and the salons there were one of the centers of the city’s musical life. He never married and lived with his sister, Käthe, who ran his household. Karl Perron died in Dresden on 15 July 1928 at the age of 70.

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Posted by on July 15, 2018 in Bass-Baritones

 

MICHAEL BOHNEN, Bass-Baritone * 02 May 1887, Cologne, Germany + 26 April 1965, Berlin, Germany

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He studied in Cologne at the Conservatory with Fritz Steinbach and Richard Dornburg. He made his debut in 1910 at the opera house of Dusseldorf as Kaspar in Der Freischütz”. He next sang in Wiesbaden for three years before moving to Berlin in 1914 where he appeared as Guernemanz . That same year he began singing at Bayreuth. His metropolitan Opera career began in 1922 in Max von Schilling’s “Mona Lisa” as Francisco. His career there included Amonasro, Méphistophélès , Tonio. Rocco, Kecal, Wotan, the Wanderer, Hunding, Hermann, Daland, King Heinrich, King Marke, Hans Sachs, Hagen, Gurnemanz, and Baron Ochs. He sang in several world premieres, Leo Blech’s “Rappelkopf”, von Reznicek’s “Holofernes”, and “Casanova” by Johann Strauss-Benatzky. He had a powerful voice of great range and exciting expressive power. His repertoire for the stage was very extensive and included Mozart’s Count, Don Giovanni, Escamillo, Iago, Alberich, the four villains in Hoffmann, and Nicolai’s Falstaff. In Germany he also became popular as a spoken-word actor. In 1934, he returned to Berlin, first to the Staatsoper, then from 1935 to 1945 in the Deutschen Oper Berlin and after the end of the Second World War until 1947 as intendant (where he still sang until 1951) and as president of the Kammer der Kunstschaffenden. His time as intendant at the Städtischen Oper Berlin came to an end due to an accusation by his pupil, tenor Hans Beirer, during the denazification process. His rehabilitation during the following years was slow, even though Beirer’s accusation was quickly revealed as false. Bohnen thus died in complete poverty, with only a small wage from the city of Berlin. He died in Berlin, where he is buried in the Friedhof Heerstraße.

Biography by Charles Rhodes

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Posted by on May 5, 2018 in Bass-Baritones

 

FRIEDRICH SCHORR, Bass-Baritone * 02 September 1888, Oradea, Romani + 14 August 1953, Farmington, Connecticut, United States;

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Arguably the greatest Wagnerian baritone of the 20th century. He made an auspicious debut in Graz as Wotan in 1912. Prague, Berlin, Covent Garden and Cologne as Amonasro, Escamillo, Barak, Borromeo in “Palestrina”, Dr. Faust (Busoni), Scarpia, Michele and Pizarro before coming to the Metropolitan Opera in 1924. Bayreuth from 1925 to 1933. His reign at the Met ended in 1943 as the Wanderer in “Siegfried”. His great principle was that Wagner should be sung, as far as possible, following the best Italian methods of voice-production and style. He insisted on the primary importance of the vowels, and said that he himself would approach a performance of Wotan’s Farewell with as much care for the cantilena, the legato singing-line, as if it were one of the baritone solos in “Un Ballo in Maschera”.

Short Biography by Charles Rhodes

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Photo credit: Cantabile-Subito

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As Don Pizarro (photo by Herman Mishkin)

Photo credit: Cantabile-Subito

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2018 in Bass-Baritones

 

FRIEDRICH PLASCHKE, Bass-Baritone * 07 January 1875, Jaroměř, Czech Republic + 04 February 1952, Prague, Czech Republic;

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Friedrich Plaschke (7 January 1875 – 4 February 1952) was a Czech operatic bass-baritone. From 1900 to 1937 he was a member of the Dresden Hofoper. He also appeared as a guest artist with companies in the United States, the Bayreuth Festival, and at the Royal Opera House in London.

At the Dresden Opera, he appeared in five Richard Strauss premieres: Feuersnot, Salome, Die ägyptische Helena, Die schweigsame Frau, and Arabella. He was married from 1911 to the soprano, Eva von der Osten, who in that year created the role of Octavian in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. [Details from Kutsch and Riemens Großes Sängerlexikon.

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Posted by on March 18, 2018 in Bass-Baritones

 

JACQUES ISNARDON, Bass-Baritone * 15 February 1860 + 14 November 1930;

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Jacques Isnardon (15 February 1860 – 14 November 1930) was a French bass-baritone, writer and voice teacher.

After winning a competition at the Paris Conservatory, he made his debut as Baxter in Émile Paladilhe’s Diane at the Opéra-Comique in 1885, before moving to Brussels and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, whose history he chronicled. He sang in Die Meistersinger at Covent Garden, Manon at La Scala and Le médecin malgré lui at Monte Carlo before returning to the Opéra-Comique in 1894. His Le Chant Théâtral is as much a memoir of his times as a philosophy of vocal pedagogy: “Herein is but one method: the new method for each pupil”.

He sang in the world premieres of Jocelyn and Le chevalier d’Harmental; other roles included Mozart’s Bartolo and Rossini’s Basilio; Puccini’s Colline and Leoncavallo’s Schaunard; Masetto, Lescaut, Enrico & at various times 5 roles (Mercutio, Paris, Gregorio, Laurent and the Duke) from Roméo et Juliette.

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Posted by on March 11, 2018 in Baritones, Bass-Baritones

 

WILHELM RODE, Bass-Baritone * 17 February 1887, Hanover, Germany + 02 September 1959, Munich, Germany;

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He studied with Rudolf Moest in Hanover, and made his debut in 1909 at the Stadttheater of Erfurt as theHeerrufer in “Lohengrin”. In 1917 he sang in the premiere of “Eros and Psyche” by the Polish composer Lubomir Rózycki. in Breslau. He sang at the Stadttheater in Bremerhaven, the Wernesau Opera House, the Stuttgart Opera House, the Munich State Opera, and at the Vienna State Opera. He made the Deutsches Opernhaus Berlin his artistic home, succeeding Max von Schillings as the general director in 1933. He sang in the world premieres of Kurt Weill’s “Bürgschaft” , and .Schreker’s “Der Schmied von Gent” Wotan at Covent Garden in 1928. Pizarro and Mozart’s Count in Salzburg. Amonasro, Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, Escamillo, the four villains in Hoffmann, Scarpia, Sebastiono in “Tiefland”, and Jokanaan. in addition to his Wagner repertoire. As Munich’s Wagner baritone ( Hans Sach, Wotan, Amfortas, and the Dutchman), he never sang at Bayreuth. Rode’s career is considered a “characteristic example of favoritism in the Third Reich.”

Artist Biography by Charles Rhodes

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Posted by on February 18, 2018 in Bass-Baritones

 

AUGUST KINDERMANN, Bass-Baritone * 06 February 1817, Potsdam, Germany + 06 March 1891, Munich, Germany;

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August Kindermann (6 February 1817 – 6 March 1891) was a German bass-baritone singer and regisseur, particularly noted for his performances in the operas of Richard Wagner.

He was born in Potsdam. He began his career singing in the chorus of the Berlin State Opera in 1836 and made his solo debut there in 1837 in a small role in Spontini’s Agnes von Hohenstaufen. He went on to sing bass and baritone roles with Leipzig Opera from 1839 to 1846. While at Leipzig, he became a friend of Albert Lortzing and sang in the premieres of two of his operas: the title role in Hans Sachs [1] (1840) and Count von Eberbach in Der Wildschütz (1842). He also sang Gazna in the premiere of Robert Schumann’s secular oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri (1843). In 1846, Kinderman moved to the Bavarian State Opera in Munich where he was a Kammersänger and stage director who enjoyed great popularity. In 1855, he directed the company’s production of Wagner’s Tannhäuser as well as singing the role of Wolfram. During his time in Munich he sang the role of Wotan in the premieres of both Das Rheingold (1869) and Die Walküre (1870) as well as Titurel in the premiere of Parsifal (1882). In addition to the Wagner premieres, Kindermann also sang Count Eckart in the premiere of Josef Rheinberger’s opera Die sieben Raben  (1869).

August Kinderman’s daughters, Franziska Kindermann, Hedwig Reicher-Kindermann, and Marie Kindermann also became opera singers. He died in Munich in 1891.

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Posted by on February 7, 2018 in Bass-Baritones

 
 
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