Posted on 09/19/2014

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Albert Niemann by unknown

Albert Niemann by unknown
(15 January 1831 – 13 January 1917)
German Tenor

Niemann made a debut in Dessau in 1849, singing in minor roles and in chorus. He received training from Fritz Schneider (director of the ducal Hofkapell), from Albert Nusch and from Gilbert Duprez in Paris. Until 1866 he had various engagements in Stuttgart, Königsberg, Stettin, and from 1854 in Hannover. At Hannover he sang Tannhäuser (from 1854), Lohengrin (from 1855) and Rienzi (from 1859).In 1864, Niemann sang as guest in two performances of Tannhäuser at Munich, and in one of Lohengrin by the arrangement of Ludwig II, shortly before the death of King Maximilian II of Bavaria. Ludwig invited Niemann to repeat these roles in Munich in 1866, but war intervened: in the following year he was again invited, but declined, because the usual cuts were not to be made. In 1866, he became a member of the Berlin Opera, and remained so until 1888. In April 1870, he sang Walther in the Berlin Meistersinger premiere. As Tichatschek had grown old, and after Ludwig Schnorr's death in 1865, Niemann had become one of the most experienced and advanced Wagnerian tenors,

In May 1872 he was in the quartet of soloists (with Johanna Jachmann-Wagner, Marie Lehmann and Franz Betz) in the inaugural performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the foundation-stone laying of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus,
Niemann remained with the Berlin opera until 1888, but in the later years of his career he participated in several important tours. In 1882, he appeared as Siegmund in the first London Die Walküre, at Her Majesty's Theatre. In 1883, he was one of the twelve pall-bearers at Wagner's funeral at Wahnfried. From 1886 to 1888 he appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House, as the first American Tristan (December 1, 1886, Anton Seidl, conductor, Lilli Lehmann, Isolde, as Siegfried in the first American Götterdämmerung ( January 25, 1888, with Lilli Lehmann as Brünnhilde, and in Spontini's opera Fernando Cortez. In New York, he also sang Siegmund, John of Leyden in Le prophète, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Florestan (in Fidelio), and Eleazar in La juive. Angelo Neumann's touring company, in which Niemann took part under Seidl's conductorship, toured with the Ring through many towns of Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, and AustriaAlbert Niemann died in Berlin, two days short of his 86th birthday.