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Ralph Herbert (Bass-Baritone)

Born: August 5, 1909 -Vienna, Austria
Died: October 21, 1995 - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

The Austrian bass-baritone, Ralph Herbert, received a very comprehensive musical training at the Neurone Wiener Conservatories (New Viennese Conservatory). His singing teachers were Helene Schemel, Ernst Tauber und Franz Steiner, later in New York Robert Weede.

Ralph Herbert made his debut as a singer in 1936 at the Wiener Volksoper as Amonasro in Aida. After World War II, he had a great career in North America, where he appeared in 1945 with the New Opera Company, and then could be heard at the Opera Houses of Cincinnati, Houston/Texas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle and San Francisco. In 1955 he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in the American first performance of the R. Strauss' opera Arabella in the role of Waldner. Since then he had important successes at this house, since 1957, beginning with a production of La Bohème, also as an opera producer and director. In this characteristic he worked also in Baltimore, Fort Worth, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, at the New York City Centre Opera, in Pittsburgh, Portland und Seattle. He made gust appearances at the Hamburg State Opera, at the Opera House of Zürich and at the opera of Mexico City.

High points in Ralph Herbert's repertoire as stage singer were Don Giovanni, the Count as well as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Escamillo in Carmen, Pizarro in Fidelio, Jago in Othello, Telramund in Lohengrin, Alberich in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Kurwenal in Tristan, the title role in Eugen Onegin, and the four Dämonen in Hoffmanns Erzaehlungen.

Ralph Herbert participated in several opera productions of the TV net NBC, was in demand as a concert singer, and took later a training post at the School of Music in Michigan University.

Recordings: Philips (Doctor in Wozzeck by Alban Berg), miscellaneous performances the Metropolitan Opera on private market.

Source: Operissimo Website English translation by Aryeh Oron (October 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2004); Manfred Krugmann (Dates, May 2011; Photos 01-02, July 2011)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




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BWV 211

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