December 5, 1903 – December 24, 2011
In RA Format
| Johannes Heesters sings|| Die Lustige Witwe: Da geh' ich zu Maxim , with Maria Fedorowa and Magda Steiner
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.