(b Erxleben, nr Magdeburg, 15 Jan 1831; d Berlin, 13 Jan 1917). German tenor. He made his début in 1849 at Dessau, singing small roles and chorus parts. After studying with Friedrich Schneider and Albert Nusch, in 1852 he was engaged at Halle. Two years later he moved to Hanover, where the king paid for him to study further with Gilbert Duprez in Paris. Having first sung Tannhäuser (at Insterburg) in 1854, Lohengrin in 1855 and Rienzi in 1859, he was chosen by Richard Wagner to sing in the first Paris performance of Tannhäuser. He was granted a year's leave of absence from Hanover, his contract with the Paris Opéra running from 1 September 1860 to 31 May 1861 at a salary of 6000 francs a month. After the fiasco of the first (13 March 1861) and two subsequent performances, Wagner withdrew his score and Niemann returned to Hanover.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.