Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Aug 17, 2014

Karl Scheidemantel (Baritone) (Weimar 1859 - Weimar 1923)

The son of a Weimar court artist, Scheidemantel found great success in various roles in the operas of Richard Wagner. Among his supporters were Bodo Borchers in Weimar, well known voice teacher Julius Stockhausen in Frankfurt, and composer Franz Liszt. At the age of 25 he joined the ensemble of the Dresden Hofoper where he was named Kammersänger, "Chamber Singer to the Saxon Grand Duke" in 1884. He sang at the 1886, 1888, 1891, and 1892 Bayreuth festivals. He frequently corresponded with Cosima Wagner about the happenings of the stage. He then sang at most of the great European opera houses, especially the Vienna State Opera, where in April and May 1890 he sang the rolls of Heiling, Renato, Zampa, Wolfram, Luna and, Sachs. He was a guest singer at La Scala in 1892. His closest friend was singer Karl Perron. He married Hedwig Lehnert in June 1897 at the Dresden Annankirche. His final career appearance was on 8 June 1911 as Hans Sachs. Scheidemantel sang over 170 roles in his career. Notably, he created the role of Herr von Faninal in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier in 1911. His German singing translation of Mozart's Don Giovanni was widely used. He also edited a song anthology for music publisher Eulenberg. After his stage career he returned to Weimar where he taught singing. His students included Hermann Uhde and Herbert Heyner. He returned to Dresden as director of the Dresden Opera in from 1920-1922. Scheidemantel is buried in Dresden-Tolkewitz. Dresden named a road in his honor.

Chronology of some appearances

Debut Weimar (1878) as Wolfram. Sang mostly in Weimar (1878 - 1886), Bayreuth (1886 - 1892), Munich (1882), Dresden (1886 - 1911), Vienna (1890), La Scala (1892) and London's Covent Garden (1884). Created Urok (Paderewski: Manru), Kunrad (Strauss: Feuersnot), and Faninal (Strauss: Rosenkavalier). Translated two works into German, Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte (Dame Kobold).


G&T, Dresden 1902
Ich liebe dich (Grieg) 42843 796x
Tannhäuser (Wagner): Als du in kühnem Sange... O kehr' zurück 42844 797x
Nun die Schatten dunkeln (Franz) 42751 2318B

G&T, Dresden 1907
Nozze di Figaro (Mozart): Ich soll ein Glück entbehren 3-42936 5868L
Don Giovanni (mozart): Champagnerlied 3-42937 5871L
Guillaume Tell (Rossini): Sohn knie' nieder (Gebet) 3-42821 5869L
Tannhäuser (Wagner): Als du in kühnen Sange 3-42822 5870L

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