Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Mar 24, 2014

Richard Breitenfeld (Baritone) (Reichenberg, Böhmen, Österreich-Ungarn 1869 - Ghetto Theresienstadt, Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren 1944)

He studied singing under Johannes Ress in Vienna and made his debut in 1897 at the Opera House of Cologne as Count di Luna in ‘’Trovatore’’, where he also took part in 1902 in the premiere of the opera ‘’Die Pompadour’’ of Emanuel Moor. He remained till 1902 in Cologne and then joined to the Opera House of Frankfurt a. M., where he worked approximately 30 years. He made guest appearances at the opera houses of Germany and with the Wagner-Verein in Amsterdam (in 1905 he appeared in the Dutch première of Wagner’s ‘’Parsifal’’ as Amfortas). For Holland he created inAmsterdam the role of Minstrel in the première of Humperdinck’s ‘’Königskindern’’ (1912). In 1913 he sang there the role of wolfram with great success in ‘’Tannhäuser’’ as well as the Jochanaan in ‘’Salome’’ of  R. Strauss with Aino Ackté in the title role. In 1899 he made guest appearance at the Vienna Court Opera as Tonio in ‘’Pagliacci’’. From 1901 to 1911 he regularly performed not only at the Munich Court Opera, but also in KarlsruheStuttgart and Wiesbaden. In 1917 he sang at the Municipal Theatre of Zurich as Kurwenal in ‘’Tristan und Isolde’’. On 18. 1. 1912 he appeared inFrankfurt in the premiere of the opera ‘’Oberst Chabert’’ of Hermann Wolfgang von Waltershausen in the title role, on 15. 3. 1913 in Zemlinsky’s ‘’Das Spielwerk und die Prinzessin’’, on 1. 7. 1920 in the premiere of the opera ‘’Die ersten Menschen’’ of Rudi Stephan in the role of Kajin. In 1927 he performed at Frankfurt in Verdi’s ‘’Rigoletto’’, in 1932 he appeared for the last time as Tonio in ‘’Pagliacci’’. Unfortunately he was murdered in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

Chronology of some appearances

1897 Cologne Opera House Trovatore (Count di Luna)
1899 Vienna Court Opera Pagliacci (Tonio)
1902 Cologne Opera House Die Pompadour (-)
1905 Amsterdam Opera House Parsifal (Amfortas)
1912 Amsterdam Opera House Königskindern (-)
1913 Amsterdam Opera House Tannhäuser (Wolfram)
1913 Amsterdam Opera House Salome (Jochanaan)
1917 Zurich Municipal Theatre Tristan und Isolde (Kurwenal)


Odeon, Berlin 1911-03?
Trovatore (Verdi): Ihres Auges himmlisch' Strahlen 99645 xB5119
Traviata (Verdi): Hat dein heimatliches Land 99646 xB5121

Gramophone, Berlin 1913-11-26
Don Carlos (Verdi): Schon seh' ich den Tag 042440 1268s
Don Carlos (Verdi): Froh' scheid' ich aus diesen Leben 042441 1269s
Parsifal (Wagner): Wir geleiten ihn heut' 042433 1270½s
Parsifal (Wagner): Tod! Sterben! 042434 1271s
Tannhäuser (Wagner): Wie Todesahnung  042448 1273s

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