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Weissmann Frieder

A tribute by Sylvia Willink

Jan Kiepura

 “One of the popular tenors in germany in the late 1920s was the Pole, Jan Kiepura. He made many records and always appeared at the studio with a handbag of assorted medicines which were applied to his throat during intermissions by a pretty secretary. The baritones I recall are headed by that wonderful Wagnerian interpreter, Friederich Schorr. At twenty-two I conducted a performance at the Berlin State Opera of the The Flying Dutchman, with him in the title role. His prais of my work was a great encouragement to me at that time. He said that I evidently understood the need for breathing on the part of the singer. This casual remark helped me a great deal in my work with singers, and I remember late having the same complimentpaid me by Michael Bohnen, when he sang with me his famous Hans Sachs.

 “Speaking of baritonesmakes me recall that famous singing actor Georges Baklanoff, a Russian, whose work was so greatly admired in this country, especially with the Chicago Opera. He had an estate near Potsdam, where I once celebrated a Russian New Year with hi mand his six Russian wolfhounds – all sitting around the table. At the high point of the night, he went to a shrine of the Virgin, crossed himself, said a prayer, pressed a hidden button and the picture opened to disclose behind it the rarest collection of French cognac I ever saw. In deep solemnity, Baklanoff took out two bottles and we went to it.


Bron: The American Record Guide, november/december 1946, Volume XIII