Josip Gostic

(Real Name was Gostič)

Picture of Josip Gostic as Siegfried in Götterdämmerung
Josip Gostic as Siegfried in Götterdämmerung

Picture of Josip Gostic

Josip Gostic singsAida: Celeste Aida

Josip Gostic singsPorin (Composer Vatroslav Lisinski): Final Act III

In RA Format

Biographical Notes

Josip Gostic was born in Stara Loka near Skofja Loka, Slovenia, on the 5th of March 1900. Soon afterwards, he moved to Homec near Ljubljana, where his father worked as an organist in the parish church. Having completed his secondary schooling at the Organ school in Ljubljana, he worked for two years as an organist in Homec. In 1921 he enrolled in the State Conservatoire in Ljubljana, singing at the same time in the choir of the Ljubljana Opera and occasionally appearing in some small roles. His debut as Lenski in YEVGENY ONYEGIN on the 5th of September 1929 revealed the enormous potencial of the young tenor. He possessed all the qualities indispensable for a first-class opera singer, i.e. a nice, strong, well-balanced voice of great volume, excellent musicality and musical proficiency, as well as a good figure and a talent for a convincing musical interpretation of the role on stage. In 1930 he graduated with honours from the Ljubljana Conservatoire. As a member of the Ljubljana Opera he appeared in more than 40 opera and operetta roles, ranging from Ferrando in COSI FAN TUTTE, Almaviva in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA and Eisenstein in DIE FLEDERMAUS to Rodolpho in LA BOHEME, WERTHER, Des Grieux in MANON and Riccardo in A MASKED BALL. Sometimes he had to appear in as many as a hundred performances per season. He also had private tutoring with Marie Rado-Danielli in Vienna and attained a masterful singing technique. He became a permanent member of the Opera of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb in 1937. From his first guest appearance in the role of Janko in THE BARTERED BRIDE in 1932 until his last performance of Manrico in IL TROVATORE on the 12th of October 1963, he had been an adored favourite of the Zagreb audience, who best expressed their enthusiasm on the 30th anniversary of his artistic work, when he appeared as ANDREA CHENIER on the 6th of June 1959. Indeed, it was in Zagreb that Gostic's artistic personalitay fully evolved. At the Zagreb Opera, he appeared in 54 roles for about thousand times. In 1942 his guest appearances in Vienna began; first at the Volksoper where he sang Canio in PAGLIACCI, Wagner's LOHENGRIN and Bacchus in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS. In 1951. he became a permanent member of the Vienna State Opera, appearing 260 times in 16 different roles in ten seasons. Sticking to the rule to sing only the roles suited to your age, he began to expand his repertoire with heroic roles. The light color of his voice and a soft mezzavoce lent exceptional dramatic feeling and deep human warmth to his rendition of PARSIFAL, PORIN by the Croatian composer Vatroslav Lisinski (1819-1854), Cavaradossi in TOSCA, Don José in CARMEN, Herman in THE QUEEN OF SPADES, DON CARLOS, Radames in AIDA, Manrico, Florestan in FIDELIO, and above all to OTELLO. This, along with great musicianship, made him one of the most complete artist in both musical and scenical terms, a perfectly reliable partner to singers and conductors alike. Gostic also appeared in first performances of several Croatian operas and was an unsurpassed interpreter of a cult figure of Croatian music - Mica in ERO THE JOKER by Jakov Gotovac (1895-1982). Gostic's international fame began as early as 1951 when he appeared in the premiere of LOHENGRIN in Vienna under the baton of Clemens Krauss in Rudolf Hartmann's production. He was compared with Leo Slezak, the best compliment a singer interpreting Lohengrin could have received. Impressed by Gostic's masterful performance, Krauss engaged him to sing Midas at the first world performance of DIE LIEBE DER DANAE (THE LOVE OF DANAE) by Richard Strauss at the Salzburg Festival on the 14th of August 1952. He also sang Midas at the premiere of the opera in Vienna, the Milan Scala as well as in the guest performance sang by the Vienna Opera ensemble in the Grand Opera in Paris. In the Vienna State Opera he also appeared as Don José, Cavaradossi, Florestan, Manrico, Turiddu in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA, Radames, Otello, Herman, Riccardo, Andrea Chenier, First man in Armour in DIE ZAUBERFLOTE (THE MAGIC FLUTE) and rendered Dick Johnson at the very successful premiere of Puccini's LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST (THE GIRL OF THE GOLDEN WEST) and a splendid Bacchus at the premiere of ARIADNE AUF NAXOS. Guest appearances in other european countries followed, most frequently in the role of Lohengrin in Spain and Italy. His interpretation of Lohengrin, exceptionally powerful in its harmony of the material and immaterial, of the human and divine, immanent to Wagner's hero, was entustiastically acclaimed by the audience of Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona, where he received the highest recognition for his rendition of the role. In 1957 he interpreted role of Siegfried in GOTTERDAMMERUNG in Wolfgang Wagner's production in Venice. In 1958 he appeared at the premiere of BORIS GODUNOV at Covent Garden in London, and in 1961 he delivered the 115th role of his repertoire - Pierre Bezuhov at the Croatian premiere of Prokofjev's WAR AND PIECE in Zagreb. He also sang in Prague, Dresden, Berlin, Hamburg, Athens and other European cities. Gostic was also a concert singer. He appeared in Verdi's and Mozart's REQUIEM, Beethoven's SYMPHONY No. 9 and Mahler's THE SONG OF THE EARTH (DAS LIED VON DER ERDE). Gostic died in Ljubljana on the 25th December 1963. His appearance in 115 main roles in about two thousand times, his enormous talent and highest standards of performance throughout his career made him a pivotal figure and mainstay of the splendid days of the Zagreb Opera. According to the great conductor Karl Bohm, Josip Gostic .. was a singer of the kind that does not exist nowadays.
Martin Ramor

The Best of Josip Gostic's Discography

Vatroslav Lisinski: PORIN - izbor - Frano Lovric, Mirka Klaric, Dragutin Bernardic, Mira Stor, Zbor i orkestar Zagrebacke opere - Mladen Basic JUGOTON, LPY - 793

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: DIE ZAUBERFLOTE - Hilde Guden, Wilma Lipp, Emmy Loose, Leopold Simoneau, Kurt Bohme, Walter Berry, Paul Schoffler, August Jaresch, Chor der Wiener Staatsoper, Wiener Philharmoniker, Karl Bohm DECCA-LXT 5085-5087

Jakov Gotovac: ERO S ONOGA SVIJETA - Drago Bernardic, Marijana Radev, Branka Oblak-Stilinovic, Vladimir Ruzdjak, Solisti, zbor i orkestar Hrvatskog narodnog kazalista u Zagrebu - Jakov Gotovac JUGOTON LPY - V - 94-96

Richard Strauss: DIE LIEBE DER DANAE - Josef Traxel, Paul Schoffler, Laszlo Szemere, Annelies Kupper, Anny Felbermeyer, Dorothea Siebert, Esther Rethy, Georgine von Milinkovic, Sieglinde Wagner, . Chor der Wiener Staatsoper, Wiener Philharmoniker, Clemens Krauss ORFEO D'OR C 292 923 D



1. Tchaikovsky:Eugene Onegin ( Lenski)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 5th September 1929
2. Foerster:Gorenjski slavcek ( The Nigtingale of Gorenjska- Franjo)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 16th October 1929
3. Lortzing: Zar und Zimmermann ( Peter Iwanov)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 23th October 1929
4. Puccini: La Boheme (Rodolfo)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 15th February 1930
5. Bravnicar: Pohujsanje v dolini Sentflorijanski ( Scandal in Saint Florian Valley-Popotnik-Wayfarer)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 11th May 1930
6. Smetana: Prodana nevesta ( Bartered Bride-Jenik)-Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 8th September 1930
7. Safranek-Kavic: Hasanagica ( Hasan Aga's Wife- Imotski kadija-The Cadi of Imotski)-Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 21th October 1930
8. Borodin: Knjaz Igor (Prince Igor-Vladimir)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 25th October 1930
9. Musorgski: Boris Godunov ( Sujski)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 30th November 1930
10. Massenet: Werther ( Werther)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 4th January 1931
11. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte (Fernando) - Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 22nd January 1931
12. Charpentier: Luise ( Julien)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 5th March 1931
13. Musorgski: Boris Godunov ( Jurodivi-Simpleton)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 18th April 1931
14. Novak: Lucerna ( The Lantern-Zajicek)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 8th October 1931
15. Rimsky-Korsakov: ( Snegurocka-The Snow Maiden-Berendej)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 3rd November 1931
16. Zajc: Nikola Subic Zrinjski ( Juranic)-Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 8th December 1931
17. Osterc: Medea ( world premiere-Jason)- Ljubljana,Narodno gledalisce (Opera),27th February 1932
18. Mascagni:Cavalleria rusticana (Turiddu)-Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 3rd April 1932
19. Dvorak: Rusalka ( Prince)-Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera),3rd May 1932
20. Auber: Fra Diavolo ( Fra Diavolo)-Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 1st October 1932
21. Verdi:Rigoletto ( Duca di Mantua)-Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 1st November 1932
22. Massenet: Manon ( Des Grieux)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 19th November 1932
23. Hatze:Adel in Mara ( Adel and Mara world premiere-Adel)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 30th November 1932
24. Gotovac: Morana ( Bojan)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 5th February 1933
25. Giordano: Andrea Chenier ( Andrea Chenier)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 17th May 1933
26. Cerepnjin: OL- OL ( Nikolaj)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 19th October 1933
27. Verdi: La Traviata ( Alfredo)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 11th November 1933
28. Janacek: Jenufa ( Laca)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 18th January 1934
29. Rossini: Guillaume Tell ( Rodolphe)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 8th February 1934
30. Janacek: Katja Kabanova ( Vanja)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 26th May 1934
31. Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann ( Hoffmann)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 27th October 1934
32. Zandonai: Francesca da Rimini (Paolo)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 14th March 1935
33. Koczalski: Zemruda ( Princ)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 9th May 1935
34. Musorgski: Hovanscina (Andrej)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 11th May 1935
35. Gounod: Faust ( Faust)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 19th June 1935
36. Rossini: La Cenerentola ( Don Ramiro)- Ljubljana,Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 12th October 1935
37. Puccini: Madame Butterfly ( Pinkerton)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 17th October 1935
38. Strauss: Salome ( Narraboth)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 21st December 1935
39. Shostakovich: Lady Machbeth of Mtsensk (Sergej)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 12th February 1936
40. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier ( Italian singer)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 25th March 1936
41. Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 22nd April 1936
42. Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia ( Almaviva)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 11th June 1936
43. Verdi: Un ballo in maschera ( Riccardo)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 18th October 1936
44. Respighi: La fiamma ( Donello)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 21th April 1937
45. Vladigerov: Tsar Kalojan ( Balduin)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 15th May 1937
46. Kienzl: Der Evangelimann ( Matthias)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 2nd October 1937
47. Wolf-Ferrari: I Gioelli della Madonna (Gennaro)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 18th December 1937
48. Puccini: Tosca ( Cavaradossi)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledaliste ( Opera), 29th January 1938
49. Mozart: Don Giovanni ( Don Ottavio)- Ljubljana,Narodno gledalisce (Opera), 22nd February 1938
50. Dvorak: Jakobin ( Jiri)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 19th March 1938
51. Wagner: Das Rheingold ( Loge)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 5th April 1938
52. Catalani: La Wally ( Hagenbach)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 25th June 1938
53. Odak: Dorica plese ( Dancing Dorica- Ivek)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 4th September 1938
54. Ponchielli: La Gioconda ( Enzo)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 10th September 1938
55. Bizet: Carmen ( Don Jose)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 18th December 1938
56. Musorgski: Boris Godunov ( Dimitry)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 30th December 1938
57. Tchaikovsky: Pique dame ( Herman)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 9th March 1939
58. Wagner: Parsifal (Parsifal)-Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 7th April 1939
59. Verdi: Don Carlos (Don Carlos)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 20th May 1939
60. Lisinski: Porin (Porin)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 31th August 1939
61. Goldmark: Die Koenigin von Saba ( Assad)- Ljubljana, Narodno gledalisce, 30th September 1939
62. Bellini: Norma ( Pollione)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 21st October 1939
63. Zajc: Nikola Subic Zrinski (Sokolovic)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 22nd December 1939
64. Verdi: Aida ( Radames)- Zagreb, Hrvatsko narodno kazaliste (Opera), 5th April 1940
65. Puccini: Manon Lescaut ( Des Grieux)- Zagreb, Hrvatsko narodno kazaliste (Opera), 4th April 1941
66. Gotovac: Ero s onoga svijeta ( Ero)- Zagreb, Hrvatsko drzavno kazaliste (Opera), 22th June 1941
67. Leoncavallo: Pagliacci ( Canio)- Wien, Volksoper. 15th March 1942
68. Papandopulo: Suncanica ( Sunflower girl- Vezir)- Zagreb, Hrvatsko drzavno kazaliste (Opera), 13th June 1942
69. Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur (Maurizio)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 31st October 1942
70. Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos ( Bacchus)-Wien, Volksoper, 4th September 1943
71. Wagner: Lohengrin (Lohengrin)- Wien, Staatsoper, 11th January 1944
72. Wagner: Der fliegende Hollaender (Erik) - Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 28th November 1944
73. Lisinski: Ljubav i zloba ( Vukosav)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 4th April 1946
74. Gotovac: Kamenik ( The Quarry-world premiere-Nenad )- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 17th December 1946
75. Beethoven: Fidelio (Florestan)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 22nd February 1947
76. Glinka: Ivan Susanin ( Sobinin)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 6th February 1949
77. Verdi: Otello (Otello)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 10th September 1950
78. Gotovac: Mila Gojsalica ( Petar Kulisic)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 18th May 1952
79. Strauss: Die Liebe der Danae ( world premiere- Midas)- Salzburg, Altes Festspielhaus, 14th August 1952
80. Mozart: Die Zauberfloete ( Erster Geharnischrter, Wien, Staatsoper, 1st September 1952
81. Puccini: La fianculla del West ( Dick Johnson)- Wien, Staatsoper, 29th October 1952
82. Britten: The Saint of the Blecher Street (Michele)- Wien, Volksoper, 16th September 1955
83. Wagner: Goetterdaemmerung (Siegfried) - Venice, La Fenice, 16th March 1957
84. Rimsky- Korsakov: Sadko (Sadko)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 30th April 1957
85. Prokofiev: War and Peace ( Pier Bezuchov)- Zagreb, Narodno kazaliste (Opera), 20th November 1961
I wish to thank Alessandro Sciocchetti for the recording (Porin).
I wish to thank Martin Ramor for the biographical notes, the picture, the discography and the Aida recording.
I wish to thank Martin Ramor for preparing the repertory from Marija Barbieri et al.: Josip Gostic, Kulturno drustvo Josip Gostic, Homec, 2000
I wish to thank Daniele Godor for the picture in Götterdämmerung.

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