Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Dec 28, 2013

Hans Buff-Giessen (Tenor) (Giessen, Germania 1862 - Dresden, Germania 1907)

He was born in a noble family. His great-aunt was Charlotte Sophie Henriette Buff, the Goethe's inspiration for Charlotte in ‘’Werther’’. His father was a counsel at the Supreme Court in Leipzig. First he studied law at the universities of Giessen and Leipzig. After having studied in Dresden under vocal pedagogue Gustav Scharfe, 1888 to 1894 he appeared at the Court Theatre of Weimar. Here among other things in 1891 he sang in the premiere of ‘’Gunlöd’’ of  P. Cornelius and in 1894 in the premiere of the opera ‘’ Guntram’’ of R. Strauss. From 1894-97 he appeared at the Court Theatre of Wiesbaden. In the 1897-98 season he sang at the Vienna Court Opera. In 1899 he became a member of the Dresden Court Opera and performed in this opera house till 1903 and up to his tragic death as a guest. As a guest performer he had big success  and his stage repertoire contained numerous parts: Almaviva in ‘’Barbiere di Siviglia’’, Elvino in Bellini’s ‘’ Sonnambula’’, Arnoldo in ‘’Guglielmo Tell’’ of Rossini, Tonio in Donizetti’s ‘’ Figlia del reggimento’’, Edgardo in ‘’Lucia di Lammermoor’’, Manrico in ‘’Trovatore’’, Radames in ‘’Aida’’, Don Ottavio in ‘’ Don Giovanni’’, Tamino in ‘’Magic flute’’, Jacquino in ‘’Fidelio’’, Lohengrin, David in  ‘’Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg’’. He was a respected concert singer. After a guest performance in Berlin, he shot himself in a compartment of the express Berlin-Dresden, committing suicide. From 1905 to 1907 he made six records for G&T in Berlin.

Chronology of some appearances

1888-1894 Weimar Court Theatre
1894-1897 Wiesbaden Court Theatre
1897-1898 Vienna Court Opera
1899-1903 Dresden Court Opera
1901 Berlin Court Opera
1901, 1905 Prague German Theatre  
1901 West Berlin Opera House
1904 Vienna Volksoper


G&T, Berlin 1905
Dame Blanche (Boieldieu): Komm', o holde Dame 3-42324  185r

G&T, Berlin 1906
Mignon (Thomas): Leb' wohl, Mignon 3-42701 4643h
Rigoletto (Verdi): Ich seh' die heissen Zähren 3-42637 4644h

G&T, Berlin 1907
Così fan tutte (Mozart): Wie schön ist die Liebe 3-42817 3068r
Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Sieh', schon die Morgenröte

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