Forgotten Opera Singers

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).

Chronology of some appearances

1913-1915 Nürnberg Stadttheater
1915-1918 St. Petersburg Theatre of Musical Drama
1925 Monte-Carlo Opéra
1918-1944 Riga National Opera



HMV, Riga 1928-10/11
Faust (Gounod): Mefisto serenáde EM33 18-282592

HMV, København 1929-06-25 
Carmen (Bizet): Toreadora ārija EL1003 32-728
Tannhäuser (Wagner): Dziesma vakara zvaigznei EL1003 32-727
Hamlet (Thomas): Dzīru dziesma EK1031 30-1085

HMV, Berlin 1930-10
Trovatore (Verdi): Ariya (Il balen) EK1057 30-5341


  1. Can't tell how excited I was to find your website. Adolph Kaktins is my grandfather. We have lost track of some of his78 lps but this was great to hear

    1. Mr. Kaktiņš was a friend of my grandfather Vilis Lapenieks ( director of the iconic Latvian film Zvejnieka Dēls and former director of the National Theater). I was privileged to often hear Mr. Kaktiņš sing in our living room- what an honor and a lovely memory!

  2. je peux vous offrir le gramo ek 61 élégie de glinka & am kamin