Forgotten Opera Singers
Jul 29, 2020
Eduard Habich (Baritone) (Kassel, Germany Sept. 3, 1880 - Berlin, Germany March 15, 1960)
He attended the Raff Conservatory in Frankfurt a.M., where he was a student of Max Fleisch. He began his stage career in the 1904-1905 season with an engagement by the City Theater in Koblenz. In the 1905-1906 season he appeared at the Theater von Posen (Poznan), from 1906 to 1907 he sang at the City Theater in Halle / Saale, in the 1907-1910 season he performed at the Opera House in Düsseldorf and from 1910 to 1930 he was engaged by the Hofoper (since 1918 State Opera) in Berlin. He was heard there, among others, in 1924 in the premiere of 'Die Zwingburg' by E. Kr venek, in 1928 in the premiere of the opera 'Der singende Teufel' by Franz Schreker. He gave numerous guest appearances, such as 1908 in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, in 1929 and 1942 at the Sopot Festival (as Alberich and Beckmesser), in 1930 and 1933 at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva (Alberich in ring performances), in 1933 at the Stadttheater in Basel, in 1934 at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, in 1935 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, also in 1935 at the Monte Carlo Opera (again as Alberich). His stage roles included Masetto in 'Don Giovanni', Figaro in 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Monterone in 'Rigoletto', Alfio in 'Cavalleria Rusticana', Colline in 'La Bohème', Escamillo in 'Carmen', the Laërte in 'Mignon' and the Harlequin in 'Ariadne auf Naxos' by R. Strauss. Alberich was considered to be his major role in the operas of the Ring Cycle, which he also sang at the Bayreuth Festival (1911, 1912, 1914 and 1924-31), where he also appeared as Klingsor in 'Parsifal' and in 1912 and 1924-1927 as Kurwenal in 'Tristan und Isolde'. He also sang the part of Klingsor in 1914 in the Berliner 'Parsifal' premiere. From 1924 to 1936 (and again 1938) he was a regular guest at the Covent Garden Opera in London. In 1928 he appeared in Amsterdam, in the 1930-1932 season sang at the Chicago Opera. In the 1935-1937 seasons he was a member of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he made his debut as father in 'Hansel and Gretel'. In 1939 he sang at the State Theater of Kassel in the premiere of the opera 'Elisabeth von England' by Paul von Klenau. In 1944 he was still a guest at the theater in his hometown Kassel as Bartolo in 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia'. After completing his long career, he taught singing in Berlin. Married to the singer Mathilde Schrecker, who was engaged in Koblenz, Krefeld and Düsseldorf.