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richard tauber lehar-die lustige witwe(the merry widow) "lippen schweigen" von operbathosa   10 years ago


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The Merry Widow (German: Die lustige Witwe) is an operetta by the Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehár. The librettists, Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, based the story — concerning a rich widow, Hanna Glawari, and her attempt to find a husband — on an 1861 comedy play, L'attaché d'ambassade (The Embassy Attaché) by Henri Meilhac.
Part 2
Richard Tauber

He made his debut before the public at a concert at Freiburg on 17 May 1912. In 1913 his father was appointed Intendant of both the Municipal and Stadt-Theater in Chemnitz and was therefore in a position to arrange for Richard to appear as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) on 2 March 1913. A few days later he played Max in Der Freischütz, a performance which was attended by Baron Seebach of the Dresden Opera and he offered Tauber a five-year contract. The Baron encouraged Tauber to take small roles with other companies to broaden his experience.

During his years in Dresden, Tauber acquired his reputation as a remarkably quick study: he learned Gounod's Faust in 48 hours, Bacchus in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos in an afternoon, and so on. People started to call him "the SOS Tenor".

In 1922, Tauber signed a contract with the Vienna State Opera and appearances with the Berlin State Opera followed; for many years he appeared with both companies — four months with each, leaving four months for concerts and guest appearances with other companies and touring abroad. He sang the tenor role in many operas, including Don Giovanni, The Bartered Bride, Tosca, Mignon, Faust, Carmen and Die Fledermaus, as well as newer works such as Erich Korngold's Die tote Stadt and Wilhelm Kienzl's Der Evangelimann. It was during this period that he began making the first of over seven hundred grammophone records, mainly for the Odeon Records label.

Tauber had a lyrical, flexible tenor voice, and he sang with a warm, elegant legato. His excellent breath control gave him a wonderful head voice and mezza-voce with a superb pianissimo. He was elegant in appearance too — although he had a slight squint in his right eye, he disguised it by wearing a monocle which, when accompanied by a top hat, added to the elegant effect. For many people he became the epitome of Viennese charm.

In July 1922, he briefly took over the part of Armand in Franz Lehár's Frasquita at the Theater an der Wien, which was a modest success. This excursion into operetta was looked down on by some but it did Tauber no harm at all; in fact, it gave Tauber a new audience. Neither did it harm his voice as some had feared — Tauber was too fine a musician to indulge in poor vocal practices in pursuit of popularity. It also revived Lehár's flagging career as a composer of operetta, who composed several successful new works specifically for Tauber's voice and talent. These usually occurred in the second act and were informally known as Tauberlieder.