Ferdinand Frantz


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(b Kassel, 8 Feb 1906; d Munich, 26 May 1959). German bass-baritone. He studied privately and made his début in 1927 at Kassel as Ortel (Die Meistersinger); after engagements in Halle, Chemnitz and Hamburg, in 1943 he was engaged by the Staatsoper in Munich, of which he remained a member until his death. He established himself as a leading Heldenbariton, singing Wotan, Hans Sachs, Kurwenal and the Dutchman; such was the range of his voice that he also sang King Mark, Daland, the Landgrave, King Henry (Lohengrin), Méphistophélès and Galitsky (Prince Igor). He made guest appearances in Vienna, Milan, Paris and London where he sang Jupiter in the first performance in England of Die Liebe der Danae in 1953 (with the Bayerische Staatsoper), and Wotan in 1954. He made his Metropolitan début in 1949 as Wotan, and also appeared there as Pizarro. Frantz's beautifully schooled voice, significant use of the text and sympathetic personality are well represented in his recording of Wotan in Wilhelm Furtwängler's Ring with the Rome RAI SO (1953) and as Hans Sachs in Rudolf Kempe's notable recording of Die Meistersinger (1956). He was married to the soprano Helena Braun.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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