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Ferdinand Frantz (1906 - 1959)

The German bass-baritone Ferdinand Frantz (1906-1959) was born in Kassel. Originally he sang in a church choir and studied privately before making his début as a bass as Ortel in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in his native city in 1927. Then followed periods in Halle (1930-32), Chemnitz (1932-37) and Hamburg (1937-43) before Munich, where he remained until his death. It was during this latter period that he moved up into the baritone repertoire. He appeared in Vienna and Dresden as a guest and during the post-war years sang at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Salzburg Festival, the Paris Opéra, and at Covent Garden, first as a member of Munich Opera (1953) and then with the resident company as Wotan the following year. His American début had taken place at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Wotan in Die Walküre in December 1949, singing twenty performances over three seasons in that house. Although remembered primarily for his Wagner interpretations, Frantz also sang Galitzky (Prince Igor) and Pizarro (Fidelio). He was married to the German soprano Helena Braun.



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