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Franz Volker (1899 - 1965)


Although Völker initially worked in a bank, his fine natural voice came to the attention of Clemens Krauss, then in charge of the Frankfurt Opera, who encouraged him to consider becoming a singer. After a brief period of study, he made his debut at the Frankfurt Opera in 1926 as Florestan / Fidelio, remaining a member of the Frankfurt ensemble until 1935 and maintaining close links with it thereafter. He joined the Vienna State Opera in 1931, remaining until 1935 and returning for the 1939–1940 and 1949–1950 seasons.

At the Salzburg Festival Völker made his debut in 1931 as Ferrando / Così fan tutte. He was to be a frequent Salzburg guest, his roles including Florestan (1931–1934), the Emperor / Die Frau ohne Schatten (1932–1933), Menelaus / Die aegyptische Helena (1934) and Max / Der Freischütz (1939). Even greater was his presence at the Bayreuth Festival where between 1933 and 1942 he was considered incomparable in the title role of Lohengrin. At Bayreuth he also sang Erik / Der fliegende Holländer and the title part in Parsifal.

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