Forgotten Opera Singers

Forgotten Opera Singers

Jun 30, 2016

Hans Bechstein (Tenor) (München 1872, 17/7 - München 1943, 20/2)


First he received his education as pianist as well as as an actor at the Academy of music in Munich and began his stage activity in 1893 at the Municipal Theater of Luzern as an actor. Then he appeared in Meiningen, Nuremberg and at the Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich (1899-1900), where he already began to appear as singer. Then he stuied singing in Munich and made his debut as singer at the  Stadttheater of Lübeck (1902-1903). Then he sang at the Hoftheater of Altenburg in Thuringia, in the 1907-1908 season at the Stadttheater of Mülhausen (Elsaß), in the 1908-1911 seasons at the Stadttheater of Bremen. He counted as one of the most significant tenors of character parts in Germany. His best part was Mime in Nibelungenring, which he sang more than 300 times at important international guest performances. He appeared as Mime in the 1907-1914 seasons at the Covent Garden in London. In 1922 he created the part of Mime during the first entire performance of the Ring Cycle at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He guested at the Hofopern in Dresden (1905) and Berlin (1909, as Mime), in Amsterdam (1908 as Steuermann in ‘’Fliegenden Holländer’’), at the Hoftheatern of Mannheim (1909) and Wiesbaden (1910), at the Teatro Real in Madrid and in 1922 at Rio de Janeiro. In 1913 he sang at the Covent Garden in the English première of the opera ‘’Colonel Chabert’’ of Waltershausen. The same year he formed in the première there of Richard Strauss’s ‘’Der Rosenkavalier’’ as Valzacchi. During the 1920’s he took part in an USA tour with appearances in Chicago and Philadelphia and was often to be heard at the Staatsoper in Munich. He also appeared as an operetta singer. He was active in Munich also in an educational area. Since 1933 he had to give up as a Jew in Germany his career.

Chronology of some appearances

1899-1900 Munich Gärtnerplatztheater
1902-1903 Lübeck Stadttheater
1907-1908 Mülhausen Stadttheater
1907-1914 London Covent Garden
1908-1911 Bremen Stadttheater
1912 Buenos Aires Teatro Colón


Parlophon, Berlin 1911-05?
Undine (Lortzing): Da lieg', du altes Mondgewehr P689
Nozze di Figaro (Mozart): In den Jahren P690
Rheingold (Wagner): Immer ist Undank Loges Lohn! P691
Siegfried (Wagner): Nun tobst du wieder wie toll P694

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