Karl Jörn


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(b Riga, 5 Jan 1873; d Denver, 19 Dec 1947). Latvian tenor. He studied with Jacobs Ress in Berlin and in 1896 made his début in Martha at Freiburg. Appearances at Zürich and Hamburg led to his engagement at the Berlin royal opera in 1902, where he remained until 1908. Covent Garden first heard him in a British double première, in 1906, of Ede Poldini's one-act Vagabund und Prinzessin and Peter Cornelius's Der Barbier von Bagdad. In the two following seasons he sang Walther in Die Meistersinger; his Loge in Das Rheingold was considered one of the best ever heard. He joined the Metropolitan in 1908, proving his adaptability in W.A. Mozart and Richard Wagner, Jules Massenet (Manon) and Pietro Mascagni (Cavalleria rusticana) and in a special performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under Arturo Toscanini. He also sang Jeník in the American première of The Bartered Bride (1909). Taking American citizenship in 1916, he retired from singing to develop an invention for mineral-divining; then, losing his fortune, he returned in 1928, joining johanna Gadski's touring company and singing (with great success) his first Tristan and Siegfried. He taught in New York and Denver and gave a final performance as Lohengrin shortly before his death. His sturdy voice and lyric style can be heard in many recordings; they cover a wide repertory and include two of the earliest made of complete operas, Faust and Carmen, both recorded in 1908 with emmy Destinn.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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