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Forgotten Opera Singers
Jan 27, 2015
Adolf Kaktins (Baritone) ( Ērberģe, Latvia 1885 - Los Angeles 1965)
First he became a bricklayer and then was
active as an actor. Then he studied singing and made his debut in 1910 in Riga in "Das
Nachtlager von Granada" by C. Kreutzer. In 1912 and 1914 he still appeared
in Riga, then
in the 1913-1915 seasons was engaged by the Stadttheater in Nürnberg. In the 1915-1918 seasons he was active at the Theatre
of Musical Drama in St. Petersburg.
From 1918 to 1944 he was one of the leading singers of the Latvian National Opera
in Riga. In
1925 he made guest appearances at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo in ‘’Demon’’ by A. Rubinstein
and ‘’Prince Igor’’ of A. Borodin. He
sang there also the role of Scarpia in ‘’Tosca’’ as a partner of Gilda dalla
Rizza and Tonio in ‘’Pagliacci’’. In the same 1925 he guested at the Grand
Opéra in Paris
as Amonasro in ‘’Aida’’. As a guest he also appeared at the opera houses of
Kaunas, Libau, Tallinn, Helsinki and at the Staatsoper in München in which he performed
in ‘’Fliegenden Holländer’’ and ‘’Otello’’.
At the Grand Theatre, Warsaw he appeared as Mephistofele
in ‘’Faust’’ by C. Gounod, at the Bolschoi Theatre in Moscow as Rigoletto, Escamillo in ‘’Carmen and
Amonasro in ‘’Aida’’. Since 1944 he lived in West
Germany, then from 1949 in the USA
(San José, California).