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Helge Rosvaenge (1897 - 1972)

Helge Rosvaenge (full name Helge Anton Rosenvinge-Hansen) was largely self-taught as a singer, studying chemistry at the Copenhagen Technical College and initially making his career in this field. After marrying the Hungarian singer Ilonka Holndonner, however, he gave a duo recital with his wife at Schwerin in North Germany which was sufficiently successful for him to be invited to make his formal operatic stage in 1921 in Neustrelitz as Don José / Carmen. He then followed the traditional route of working his way up a chain of opera companies in Northern Europe: from 1922 to 1924 he was at Altenburg, from 1924 to 1926 at Basle and from 1926 to 1929 at Cologne.

In 1929 Rosvaenge was engaged as a member of the Berlin State Opera and remained there until the close of World War II, enjoying great popular, critical and political success throughout this period. He was very much a key figure within this company, singing a wide range of roles with considerable frequency. For instance he might sing within a single week Alfred / Die Fledermaus, Don José, Rodolfo / La Bohème and Bacchus / Ariadne auf Naxos.



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