Friedrich Weidemann

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Friedrich Weidemann (1 January 1871 – 30 January 1919)[1] was a German baritone who was a leading singer at the Vienna Court Opera (Wiener Hofoper) from 1903 until his death.[2]

Biography[edit]

Weidemann was born in Ratzeburg in 1871.

He created the role of Kaspar in Alexander von Zemlinsky's opera Es war einmal on 22 January 1900, alongside Selma Kurz, under Gustav Mahler's baton. He came to the Vienna Court Opera in 1903, where he worked with Karl Weigl as vocal coach.[3]

He sang in a new production of Wagner's Das Rheingold on 23 January 1905, under Mahler.[1]

Six days later, on 29 January, he was the soloist in the premiere of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder. This concert also included the premiere performance of "Der Tamboursg'sell" from Lieder aus "Des Knaben Wunderhorn".[1]

His other roles at the Court Opera included the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni (December 1905), and Wotan in Die Walküre (1907, alongside Anna Bahr-Mildenburg).[1][2]

On one occasion Bruno Walter engaged Weidemann for a performance of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde using tenor and baritone. Mahler had died in 1911 having never heard the work. He had specified on the score that the singers could be either tenor and contralto or tenor and baritone. However, Walter felt that tenor and baritone did not work as well as tenor and contralto, and he did not repeat the experiment.[4]

Weidemann died in Vienna in 1919 at age 48.

Recordings[edit]

Weidemann's voice can be heard in:

References[edit]