Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jul 6, 2016

Heinrich Bensing (Tenor) (Metz, Germania July 26, 1911 - Frankfurt am Main, Germania December 30, 1955)


He studied singing under H. Ditt in Cologne and O. Waldner in Vienna. He began his career at the Opernhaus in Hannover. From 1935 to 1939 he was engaged by the Oper in Cologne. In 1938 he made successful guest appearances at the Opernhaus in Frankfurt a. M. as Alfredo in ‘’La Traviata’’, Pinkerton in ‘’Madama Butterfly’’ and as Hans in B. Smetana’s ‘’Verkaufter Braut’’. Since  1939 he was a principal tenor of this  opera house, where he worked up to his death. Here he sang a huge number operatic parts: Idamante in ‘’Idomeneo’’, Belmonte in ‘’Entführung aus dem Serail’’, Cavaradossi in ‘’Tosca’’, Turiddu in ‘’Cavalleria Rusticana’’, the Italian singer in ‘’Rosenkavalier’’, Hugo in 'Undine' and Max in ‘’Freischütz’’. He appeared in Frankfurt in the premiere of the opera ‘’Odysseus’’ of H. Reutter as Telemach (1942). With the ensemble of the Frankfurt Opera he made guest appearances in 1940 at Belgrade, in 1944 at the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona. In the 1940-44 seasons several times he sang as a guest at the Staatsoper in Vienna, in the  1942-1944 seasons he had a guest contract with the Opernhaus of Leipzig. After the Second World War, since 1947, he was connected (up to his death) as a guest by contract to the Staatsoper in Hamburg, also sang at the Opernhaus of Cologne. In 1951 he appeared at the Salzburg festival (Andre in ‘’Wozzeck’’). Especially he was highly acclaimed in Italian repertoire: Alfredo in ‘’La Traviata’’, Manrico in ‘’Il Trovatore’’, Riccardo in ‘’Un Ballo in maschera’’, Radames  in ‘’Aida’’, Don Carlo, Duke in ‘’Rigoletto’’, Kalaf in ‘’Turandot’’, José in ‘’Carmen’’ and Hoffmann in ‘’Les Contes d'Hoffmann’’. An international career was prevented by the situation of the years of war and by the early death of the artist. He made a few complete operas for the Frankfurt Radio.

Chronology of some appearances

1933-1934 Hannover Opernhaus
1935-1939  Köln  Oper
1938-1955 Frankfurt a. M. Opernhaus


Conductor Kurt Schröder  - 1950 (RA)
Orchestra - Sinfonie-Orchester des Hessischen Rundfunks
Chorus - Chor des Hessischen Rundfunks
Tosca (Puccini): Und es blitzten die Sterne

Conductor Paul Schmitz - 1952 (LI)
Orchestra - Sinfonieorchester des Hessischen Rundfunks
Chorus - Chor des Hessischen Rundfunks
L'africaine (Meyerbeer): Land So Wunderbar

Conductor Hans Müller-Kray - 1950 (RA)
Orchestra - Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart
Chorus - Radiochor Stuttgart
Freischütz (Weber): Durch die Wälder, durch die Auen

1 comment:

  1. His musical talents are evident and he sings with great sensitivity and feeling. The differences between a German tenor and an Italian are clear, but certainly do not stand in the way of musical intelligence and vocal artistry. I enjoyed the excerpt.