Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

May 22, 2016

Henk Noort (Tenor) (October 6, 1899 The Hague, Netherlands; died 1990)


He received his education with the well known pedagogue Cornelie van Zanten. In the beginning he had not the intention to become a professional singer, but his phenomenal tenor voice with the choir he joined, catches such attention that Evert Cornelis send him to Cornelie van Zanten. At her advice he followed the way of her former pupil Jacques Urlus and she destined him for an opera career. Henk Noort made his debut with the Co-Opera-Tie in 1927, as first priest in Mozart’s Zauberflöte. After that he sang - end 1927, beginning 1928 - yet some minor roles for this company. Because those days in the Netherlands there was only little employ for opera singers, he had to continue his career abroad. Cornelie van Zanten let him sing to several German opera theatres. He leaved to Koblenz, where he debuted in the Stadttheater. Here he was noticed soon by the intendant of the opera in Wupperthal, who entrusted him in 1929 and in 1930 already to all the leading parts. Henk Noort also sang at the opera of Elberfeld-Barmen. The next year he leaved to Berlin, where he joined the Stadtische Opera. The influence of the government of the capital city Berlin upon the vocal- dramatic-art in those days, made him decided to leave the city in 1932 and return back to Rhineland, where he became first tenor of the opera of Düsseldorf and where he stayed from 1933 until 1935. After expiration of his contract he only joined guest appearances and he appeared in 1937 in Salzburg during the Festspiele, where he performed under the baton of Toscanini the role of Walther von Stolzing in the Meistersinger. In the Netherlands he sang - now as an established singer - in end 1938, beginning 1939 roles as Max in Weber’s Der Freischütz and Lohengrin. Also he made those days a great tour through America and Canada together with Hilde Konetzi, Marta Krasva and Joël Berglund and returning from this, he sang as guest in Vienna, Dresden, Munich, Paris, Brussels and Berlin in which city he joined for six years the Staats - and Städtische Oper. He broke his contract in the course of the war to return to the Netherlands, where he established himself in Rotterdam. During the war and the first years there after he sang several times for the opera in roles as Florestan (Fidelio), Manrico (Trovatore), Walther von Stolzing (Meistersinger), pending that the international circumstances would allow him to continue his career abroad again. In 1948 he appeared again several times as guest in Swiss. His final opera contract was with the Stadttheater of Münster. Noort has sung under many famous conductors, a.o. under the already mentioned Toscanini, under Bruno Walter, Ansermeth, Richard Strauss, Eduard van Beinum, Carl Schuricht, Karl Böhm, Hans Kindler, Desiré Defauw etc. In the Netherlands he was known mostly as concert singer, where he cooperated in performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Lied von der Erde, Bach’s Matthäus Passion, Verdi’s Requiem and important oratorio performances. There exists recordings of him of the Die Meistersinger under Toscanini as Walter von Stolzing.

Chronology of some appearances

1931 Berlin Stadtische Opera
1933-1935 Düsseldorf Opera


Conductor Arturo Toscanini (Live/1937) with Hans Herrmann Nissen, Hermann Wiedemann, Richard Sallaba, Maria Reining and Kerstin Thorborg
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Am Stillen Herd In Winterszeit
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Fanget An! So Rief Der Lenz In Den Wald
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Morgenlich Leuchtend In Rosigem Schein 
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Verweilt! Ein Wort! Ein Einzig Wort!
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Mein Herr! Der Singer Meisterschlag
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Seid Meiner Treue Wohl Versehen
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Ja, Ihr Seid Es! Nein, Du Bist Es!
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Geliebter, Spare Deinen Zorn
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner)  Grüß Gott, Mein Junker
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Abendlich Glühend
Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) Morgenlich Leuchtend In Rosigem Schein (Conclusion)

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