Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jul 19, 2014

Kurt Sommer (Tenor) (Altengottern, Thüringen 1868 – Berlin 1921)


His complete name was Kurt Christoph Gottfried Sommer. He studied singing at the conservatoire of Dresden under Gustav Scharfe. His stage debut occurred in 1889 at the Municipal Theatre of Königsberg. In the 1890-92 seasons he sang at the Opera House in Cologne, then in the 1892-93 season again at Königsberg. In 1893 he became a member of the Berlin Court Opera, where he remained up to his death. In the 1904-06 seasons  he appeared at the Court Theatre in Wiesbaden (sang there on 15. 11. 1905 in the premiere of the opera ‘’Die Barbarina’’ of Otto Neitzel), then he returned again to Berlin. In 1902 he sang at the Berlin Court Opera in the premiere of the opera ‘’Der Improvisator’’ of E. d'Albert. In 1898 he made guest appearances at the Imperial Court Opera in St. Petersburg and sang in the premières there of ‘’Meistersinger’’ and ‘’Fliegenden Holländers’’ in the parts of Walther von Stolzing and Erik. He also appeared in Dresden (since 1896), Karlsruhe (1905), Weimar (1904), Frankfurt a. M. (1900, 1904), Hamburg (1900, 1909), Bern (1907), Riga (1901), Stockholm (1901), Holland and Belgium. Besides roles in Wagner’s operas, he also performed as Masaniello in ‘’La Muette de Portici’’ of Auber, Arnoldo in Rossini’s ‘’Wilhelm Tell’’, Faust in Gounod’s ‘’Faust’’, Chapelou in ‘’Postillon de Lonjumeau’’ of Adam, Manrico in ‘’Trovatore’’, Canio in ‘’Pagliacci’’, Almaviva in ‘’Barbierei di Siviglia’’, Alfred in "Die Fledermaus".

Chronology of some appearances

1889 Königsberg Municipal Theatre
1890 Cologne Opera House
1892 Königsberg Municipal Theatre
1893 Berlin Court Opera
1904 Wiesbaden Theatre


Columbia, Berlin 1906?
Postillon de Longjumeau (Adam): Postillonlied 40821

Gramophone, Berlin 1910-09-17
Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner): Selig wie die Sonne with Denera, Arndt-Ober, Jörn & Zador 044169 499s

Gramophone, Berlin 1912-08-31
Rheingold (Wagner): Ihrem Ende eilen sie zu with von Skilondz, Arndt-Ober, von Scheele-Müller & Körfer 044216 141al
Rheingold (Wagner): Schwüles Gedünst schwebt in der Luft with Körfer 044217 142al

Gramophone, Berlin 1912-11-06
Lohengrin (Wagner): Du kündest nun dein wahr' Gericht (Königsgebet, pt 2) with van Endert, Arndt-Ober, Knüpfer, Habich & chorus 044230 299al

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