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Peter Andersen

Peter Anders abandoned a career as an auditor to study singing at the Berlin High School for Music, firstly with Ernst Grenzebach and later with Lula Mysz-Gmeiner, whose daughter Susanne (herself a singer) he subsequently married. His first success came in 1931 when, still singing under his actual name of Emil Anders, he appeared in Max Reinhardt’s production of Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène in Berlin. Anders made his formal operatic début in 1932 in Heidelberg as Jacquino in Fidelio and spent much of the 1930s working his way up the operatic ladder in Germany: he was at Darmstadt from 1933 to 1935 (changing his name to Peter Anders in 1934), Cologne from 1935 to 1936, Hanover from 1937 to 1938 and Munich from 1938 to 1940. He sang in the first performance of Richard Strauss’s opera Friedenstag at Munich in 1938, while between 1940 and 1948 he was a valued member of the Berlin State Opera. Here he took part in several first performances, including Fried Walter’s Andreas Wolfius (1940) and Othmar Schoeck’s Das Schloss Dürande (1943). During this period Anders also sang at the Salzburg Festival, as Tamino / Die Zauberflöte in 1941 and during the following year in a performance of the Verdi Requiem at Salzburg as well as in the notorious performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 given in Berlin to mark Adolf Hitler’s birthday and conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler. His numerous rôles at this time included Alfredo / La traviata, Belmonte




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