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Oscar Natzka

(1912—1951)


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(b Matapara, 15 June 1912; d New York, 5 Nov 1951). New Zealand bass. He was at first a blacksmith, but in 1935 won a scholarship to study at Trinity College of Music in London with Albert Garcia. In 1938 he was engaged to sing at Covent Garden, where he made his début as Wagner in Faust and later created the leading role of De Fulke in George Lloyd's The Serf. He also sang in Rigoletto and Die Meistersinger. After war service with the Royal Canadian Navy, he returned to sing leading bass roles at Covent Garden in 1947, notably Sarastro; the next year he made his début at the New York City Opera as Sparafucile in Rigoletto. Thereafter he sang widely in North America in opera and concerts, but in 1951 he was taken ill during a performance of Die Meistersinger in New York, and 13 days later he died. Possessor of an outstandingly powerful and resonant bass voice, he made a number of recordings of ballads and operatic arias in the late 1930s and the 1940s.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.


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