Category Archives: Bassses

PLINIO CLABASSI, Bass * 22 March 1920, Sedegliano + 22 October 1984, San Vito al Tagliamento;


PLINIO CLABASSI (Sedegliano, 22 March 1920 – San Vito al Tagliamento, 22 October 1984) ) was an Italian operatic bass particularly associated with the Italian repertoire.

Born in Sedegliano, Italy, Plinio Clabassi began to sing very young with the local men chorus of his native city “Cantario Santo Stefano”, of which he was also director from 1946 until 1947. During the Second World War, he served in the campaign of Albania. After the war, he joined the Granatieri di Sardegna Mechanized Brigade in Rome. It was during that period that he began his operatic career on local radio broadcasts (RAI).

He soon was invited to sing at most of the opera houses and concert halls throughout Italy. His career of some thirty years would also take him to many European countries, in North and South America, as well as South Africa and Australia. His repertoire was vast ranging from Caldara and Paisiello to Pizzetti and Alfano, but he was mostly admired in the 19th century romantic works by composers such as Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, and Puccini.

A basso cantante with a beautiful even voice, he was admired for his scenic intelligence and dignity. He can be heard on several studio and live recordings. Clabassi was married to the opera singer Rina Gigli (the daughter of Beniamino Gigli) and appeared with her on a number of occasions, including a 1966 production of Turandot at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. Plino Clabassi died in San Vito al Tagliamento, on 22 October 1984. In May 2012, a new theatre in his native city was named in his honour.




Leave a comment

Posted by on March 23, 2018 in Bassses


OWEN BRANNIGAN, Bass * 10 March 1908, Annitsford, United Kingdom + 09 May 1973, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom;


He studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London. His stage debut was with the Sadler’s Wells Opera in 1943 as Sarastro. 1947 brought him to Glyndebourne, and 1948 to Covent Garden. A creator of many roles in Britten’s operas. Swallow in “Peter Grimes”, Collantius in “The Rape of Lucretia”, Superintendant Budd in “Albert Herring”. Noye and Bottom were written with him in mind too. In 1963 he participated in the world premiere of “Our Man in Havana” by Malcolm Williamson, and in 1966 his “The Violins of Saint Jacques”. His repertoire included Leporello, Bartolo, Osmin, Don Pasquale, Banquo, Fra Melitone and Silvano in Cavalli’s “La Callisto”. Leads in Gilbert and Sullivan too. A wide concert career singing the works of Purcell, Handel and Bach to Kodály, Elgar and Tippett.

Short Biography by Charles Rhodes

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 16, 2018 in Bassses


OTTO VON ROHR, Bass * 24 February 1914, Berlin, Germany + 15 July 1982, Leonberg, Germany;


Otto von Rohr (24 February 1914, Berlin, Germany + 15 July 1982, Leonberg, Germany) was a German opera singer.

He studied at the Musikhochschule Berlin with Hermann Weißenborn, and made his debut in 1938 at the Stadttheater of Duisburg as Sarastro. In 1941 he made Stuttgart his artistic home, where he performed until his death. He has performed at the Opera House of Frankfurt am Main, Basel, Zurich, Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg, La Scala, the Paris Grand Opéra , and Buenos Aires. His repertoire included Guernemanz, Daland, Pogner, King Marke, Rocco, Oroveso, Ochs, King Philip, Ramphis, Banquo, Timur, Pimen, Gremin, and Kontschak.

Artist Biography by Charles Rhodes


Leave a comment

Posted by on March 4, 2018 in Bassses


HELMUT FEHN, Bass * 19 February 1915, Buchbach (Oberfranken), Germany +25 June 1993, Düsseldorf, Germany;


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

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 19, 2018 in Bassses


JIŘÍ HUML, Bass * 06 August 1875, Prague + 23 October 1948, Prague;

Jiří Huml (born 06 August 1875 Prague + died 23 October 23, 1948 Prague) was a Czech operatic bass and opera director.


Jiří Huml as Otec Paloucký in Hubička, 19 May 1909



Jiří Huml as Otec Paloucký in Hubička, 09 february 1923


Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2018 in Bassses


EDUARD HAKEN, Bass * 22 March 1910, Shklyn’, Ukraine + 12 January 1996, Prague, Czech Republic;

Eduard Haken (22 March 1910 – 12 January 1996, Prague) was a Czech operatic bass who had a lengthy career at the National Theatre in Prague during the 20th century. Although he mostly performed within his own nation, Haken did appear at a number of important international music festivals and opera houses in Europe while traveling with the National Theatre. He was also active as a concert soloist and recitalist.

Haken possessed a dark and glossy voice that was agile and powerful enough to assail a wide array of parts from the dexterous bel canto repertoire to heavier dramatic roles. A fine actor with a good sense of comic timing, he also excelled in the basso buffo repertoire. His voice is preserved on numerous opera recordings made with the Supraphon record label.

Born in Šklin, Ukraine to parents of Czech descent, Haken initially pursued a career as a doctor and in fact passed his medical examinations in 1932. While a student he took singing lessons with D. Levytsky in Prague. Eventually his love of music won over and he decided to abandon his medical career for a singing career.

Haken made his professional opera debut in a small role at the National Theatre in Prague in 1936, singing minor parts there for the next two years. In 1938 he became a principal singer at the Oldřich Stibor Theatre in Olomouc where he remained for three years. He returned to the National Theatre in 1941 where he remained for over the next five decades.

After his return to the National Theatre in 1941, Haken quickly became one of the most popular artists in the city. In his early years he developed a strong artistic partnership with conductor Vaclav Talich who greatly admired the young the bass. He was a much loved Kecal in The Bartered Bride. Among his chief roles at the theatre were Basilio in The Barber of Seville, Beneš in Dalibor, Daland in The Flying Dutchman, Mephistopheles in Faust, Mumlal in The Two Widows, Paloucký in The Kiss, Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Ramfis in Aida, Rocco in Fidelio, Van Bett in Zar und Zimmermann, Vodník in Rusalka, Volfram Olbramovič in The Brandenburgers in Bohemia, Zechariah in Nabucco, and the title role in A Life for the Tsar. One of his last appearances at the house was in 1992 in a production of František Škroup’s Columbus.

During his career Haken toured often with the National Theatre, making appearances throughout Europe. A highlight of these travels included performances of Rusalka at both the 1963 Holland Festival and the 1964 Edinburgh Festival. In 1971 he was the bass soloist in Leoš Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass at the Salzburg Festival, reprising a role he had filled in the 1964 Ančerl/CzechPO recording of this Mass. In 1953 Haken was awarded the Stalin Prize for his contribution to music and was named a National Artist. For many years he was married to actress Marie Glázrová. He died in Prague in 1996 at the age of 85. He was posthumously awarded a Thalia Award shortly after his death. He is buried at the Vyšehrad cemetery.

Image result for Eduard Haken

Image result for Eduard Haken





Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2018 in Bassses


OTTO EDELMANN, Bass * 05 February 1917, Brunn am Gebirge, Austria + 14 May 2003, Vienna, Austria;

Image result for Otto Edelmann

Otto Edelmann (February 5, 1917 in Vienna – May 14, 2003 in Vienna) was an Austrian bass. He was born in Vienna and studied singing in Vienna with Gunnar Graarud.[1] His debut was at Gera as Figaro in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. He later sang the Vienna State Opera, the Edinburgh Festival and the Metropolitan Opera. He sang at the Bayreuth Festival immediately after its reopening in 1951 after World War II, performing the role of Hans Sachs in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. (He also recorded as Veit Pogner the goldsmith in the same work in one of Hans Knappertsbusch’s early recorded performances.) He also sang Ochs in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at the first performances in the new Salzburg Festspielhaus in 1960. In 1957, he recorded the role of Wotan opposite Kirsten Flagstad in Georg Solti’s recording of Act III of Wagner’s Die Walküre (an album made prior to the later famous complete set of Der Ring des Nibelungen). He died in Vienna.

He is the father of the Austrian baritones Peter Edelmann and Paul-Armin Edelmann.

His voice was brassy and free, and very large, high for a bass but definitely a bass, not a baritone. He had a functional low extension, not full-sounding but very buzzy, which served him well in the role of Baron Ochs. His stage-personality and choice of roles tended toward likable comedic characters. He sang Ochs in the classic recording of Der Rosenkavalier conducted by Herbert von Karajan with Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and Christa Ludwig.

Videos are available of him as Baron Ochs (with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf) and Leporello (with Cesare Siepi.)

Image result for Otto Edelmann

Image result for Otto Edelmann

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 6, 2018 in Bassses

Powers Behind Grand Rapids

History of Powers and Ball Family

Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

Journal of a Piano teacher from New York to California




Aprile Millo's View of the Opera/World


Information and Resources for Historic-Sound Enthusiasts

Ihr Opernratgeber ( Herausgeber: Sven Godenrath )

Sängerporträts, CD & DVD Besprechungen, Rezensionen von Aufführungen

winckelmann in venedig

cronache da una città morta

Il cavaliere della rosa

Un blog orgogliosamente di nicchia: opera, ricordi e piccole manie di un improvvisato collezionista

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.