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Karl August Neumann (Baritone)

Born: 1897 - Germany
Died: September 18, 1947 - Berlin, Germany

The German baritone, Karl August Neumann, was a grandchild of the great impresario and singer Angelo Neumann (1838-1910). His father Karl Eugen Neumann was a well-known orientalist and translator (Gespräche des Buddha). He was trained by the teacher Carl Beines.

Karl August Neumann began his stage career in the season time 1917-1918 at the Stadttheater of Mainz and sang then in 1918-1920 at the Stadttheater of Elberfeld; in 1920-1921 at the Stadttheater of Halle (Saale); in 1921-1923 at the Wiener Volksoper; in 1924-1928 at the Opera House of Breslau and in 1928-1933 at the Opera House of Leipzig. He was engaged from 1933 by to the Berlin's Staatsoper, whose member he remained up to his death. Here he sang among other things in 1936 in a glossful premiere of the opera Halka by Moniuszko.

Karl August Neumann took part in several opera premieres with: Das Lied der Nacht by H. Gàl (Breslau, 1926), Die schwarze Orchidee by Eugen d'Albert (Leipzig, December 1928), Das Leben des Orest by E. Krenek (Leipzig, January 1930), the operetta Die große Sünderin by Eduard Künnecke (Staatsoper Berlin, December 1935) and the opera Schneider Wibbel by Mark Lothar (Staatsoper Berlin, May 1938, in the title role). He sang in the German first performances of the operas Der Jahrmarkt von Sorotchintsy by Mussorgsky (Breslau, 1925) and Sadko by Rimsky Korssakov (Staatsoper Berlin, 1947). His big roles were Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, the title hero in Alban Berg's Wozzeck, Marcello in La Bohème by Puccini, Wolfram in Tannhäuser and Beckmesser in Meistersingern. In the latter role he appeared in 1933 at the Bayreuth Festival. In 1941 he appeared at the Grand Opéra Paris as Melot in Tristan.

Apart from his affecting performance on the stage, Karl August Neumann was an important concert singer, whereby his best achievements were probably in the Lieder singing.

Recordings: Polydor (ensemble scene from Zauberflöte, Lieder).

Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (May 2005)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2005); Manfred Krugmann (Photos 01-06, July 2011)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Karl Straube


Radio: BWV 11, BWV 97, BWV 135

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