Johannes Heesters

December 5, 1903 December 24, 2011

Picture of Johannes Heesters

Johannes Heesters sings Die Lustige Witwe: Da geh' ich zu Maxim , with Maria Fedorowa and Magda Steiner
In RA Format
Johannes Heesters: For me, Heesters is a do-nothing-tenor par excellence. Here is the astonishing story of a singer without any hint of a voice, who became nevertheless one of the most famous operetta tenors ever. He was very handsome, and obviously a good actor, which may have helped, but doesn't explain it. He also made several successful films in Nazi Germany, where he enjoyed a great career, and in post-1945 Germany. There is a 1941 photo of Heesters visiting the Dachau concentration camp; though one of the prisoners later testified that the purpose of Heesters' visit was a concert for the SS, and that he, the prisoner, had to open and close the curtain for Heesters, the singer himself always denied to have performed there. There's one truly fascinating thing about Heesters: born December 5th, 1903 in Amersfoort (Netherlands), he is still alive (in November 2007) and STILL PERFORMING. And there's actually not much difference between his voice today, and his voice of 60 years ago... Danilo in "Die lustige Witwe" was his most famous role by far. He has a website
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the picture, notes and recording.

Back to Index