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Leo Heppe (Bass)

Born: June 7, 1922 - Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia
Died: January 13, 1998 - Vienna, Austria

The Russian-born Austrian bass, Leo Heppe (stage name: Bob Martin), worked as singer in the Choir of the Wiener Staatsoper from 1951 until his retirement in 1981. However, during those years he was active also in other genres: among other things, he performed with the jazz combos Die Montecarlos and Die blauen Jungs. In 1957, he starred opposite Grethe Weiser in the remake of the classic film Einmal eine große Dame from 1934. In addition, he recorded as a singer selections from operas and operettas, some of which are available today in new editions.

In 1957, Leo Heppe, under the stage name Bob Martib, was selected internally by the ORF to be the first in Austria for the Eurovision Song Contest in Frankfurt am Main. With the song Wohin, kleines Pony? by Kurt Svab and Hans Werner, he had little success: With only three points - one from the Netherlands and two from the UK - he landed on the tenth and last place.

Leo Heppe had 3 sons. He left his family, and they were not well off. The mother of the boys was also a singer (Wiener Staatsoper, extension choir), but at the end tried to do something else for a living. They had an old house in Mauer, an expensive area in the south of Vienna, but could not maintain it. Leo Heppe was buried in Ottakringerstraße cemetery.

Recordings: Ein Walzertraum (operatta selections) ý (Amiga, 1960); Mozart: Music For Masonic Occasions, Vol. 2 conducted by Peter Maag with Chorus & Orchestra of the Vienna Volksoper (Turnabout, 1968) ; Mozart & Haydn: Organ Solo Mass / Little Organ Mass with Hans Haselböck, Hans Gillesberger (Turnabout, LP, 1968); Mussorgsky-Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Boris Godunov concucted by Herbert von Karajan with Wiener Philharmoniker, Ghiaurov, Vishnevskaya, Spiess, Maslennikov, Martti Talvela (Decca, 1971); Johann Strauss: Der Lustige Krieg; J.S. Bach: Johannes-Passion BWV 245 conducted by Ferdinand Grossmann with Wiener Akademie Kammerchor & Wiener Symphoniker Polydor/Vox, 1950); J.S. Bach: Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 conducted by Hermann Scherchen with Wiener Akademie Kammerchor & Vienna State Opera Orchestra (Westminster, 1953). Heppe also recorded a few pop songs during the 1950's under the pseudonym Bob Martin.

Source: Helmut Prodinger, Professor, FRSSAf, Mathematics Department, University of Stellenbosch, 7602 Stellenbosch, South Africa; German Wikipedia Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (June 2013); Bits & pieces from various ewbsites
Contributed by:
Helmut Prodinger (January 2005); Manfred Krugmann (Photo 01, July 2011); Aryeh Oron (June 2013)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Ferdinand Grossmann


BWV 245

Kurt Rapf (Organ)


7 Easter Chorales

Hermann Scherchen


BWV 244

Links to other Sites

Bob Martin (Wikipedia) [German]


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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 05:16