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Heinrich Schlusnus (1888 - 1952)

Following in the steps of his father (who worked for the state post office) Schlusnus initially worked as a postal employee in Frankfurt. However he also took singing lessons, again emulating his father who sang in a male-voice quartet, and made his first concert appearance in Frankfurt in 1912. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914 however he joined the German army and saw active service, sustaining a leg injury at the Belgian front in 1914.

Schlusnus now turned to music as a career, making his operatic stage debut with the Hamburg Opera in 1915 as the Herald / Lohengrin. Between 1915 and 1917 he was a member of the opera company at Nuremberg, before joining the Berlin Court (later State) Opera in 1917, making his debut here as Wolfram / Tannhäuser and remaining with this company until 1945. Schlusnus played a key role in the Verdi renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s in Germany. He sang Montfort in the Berlin State Opera premiere of I vespri siciliani in 1932, while other Verdi roles central to his repertoire included di Luna / Il trovatore, Germont père / La traviata, Don Carlo / La forza del destino and Posa / Don Carlo.




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