Juan Spivak

April 28, 1883 Odessa? - March 15, 1946 New York

Picture of Juan Spivak
During 1907-1909, Spivak was already singing at the Wiener Volksoper. Here hes had his first successes and sang often with Maria Jeritza.

In 1909/10, Spivak sang at the Wiener Staatsoper ((Barbier von Bagdad (2. Muezzin 10 times October 4, 1909 and and April 16, 1910; Nureddin on November 4, 1909), Carmen (José on January 6, 1909)).

His career evolved as follows:
1910-11 Opernhaus in Düsseldorf
1911-12 Theater in Olmütz (Olomouc)
1912-15 Stadttheater in Bremen
1915-22 Stadttheater in Nürnberg (World premiere of Ein Fest auf Haderslev by Robert Heger in 1919), where he also directed operas
1923-25 Stadttheater von Danzig, as singer und director
1927-28 Berliner Komischen Oper, as singer und director

He made guest appearances at the Hoftheater in Stuttgart (1909), and at the Hoftheater in Wiesbaden (1911).

After retiring, he lived in Berlin where he taught singing.

He left Germany in 1933 due to the political climate and emigrated to the USA. In New York, he taught singing.
Reference: Kutsch & Riemens

Juan Spivak singsIl Trovatore: Deserto sulla terra, in German

Juan Spivak singsDie Walküre: Winterstürme

Juan Spivak sings Der Troubadur: Di geloso amor with Juan Luria & Aline Sanden in German
In RA Format

It looks like Spivak was born in Philadelphia.

application to regain US citizenship - SPIVAK early 1930's



X-No-archive: yes

Having recently connected to a great-niece of my grandfather's first 
cousin, I find that he was born in Philadelphia in 1883. His parents 
(or maybe only father after mother's death) returned to Odessa and he 
was raised by his grandparents, parents of my ggm.  To ensure his 
safety, they destroyed his US papers, and obtained Russian papers for 
him.  Here is her account: 
According to Anki JENSEN SPIVAK, her husband, Juan SPIVAK, was born in 
Philadelphia. He was born of Russian immigrants, but the family moved 
back to Russia when he was only two years old.  Because a pogrom had 
been instituted against Jews in Russia at the time, only children born 
in Russia would  be allowed to stay, so the family decided to burn the 
boyâ??s American paperwork. For some reason Juan was brought up by his 
grandparents in Odessa. That is why I don't know their names. He came 
to Berlin at a very young age to take voice lessons. From there he went 
to Vienna and had great success at the Wiener Staatsoper at the age of 
only 21. 
 In 1926 Anki came from Stettin to Berlin and married Juan SPIVAK. I 
don't know exactly when. Juan was singing  'Fuerst Igor' and 'Boris 
Godunov'at the Berlin Staatsoper, while Anki sang 'Michaela' in Carmen 
at  'Theater des Westens' and had a Strauss recital . Juan practiced 
with her to expand her repertoire for the Berlin Stattsoper, where she 
was later engaged. In 1929-30 the trouble started for the Jews  and it 
became hard to maintain employment. Juan now went on a tour with Jushny 
and his 'Blaue Vogel' troup to Sweden, while Anki went to Paris and 
London and was broadcast on the radio in both countries. When 'Die Blaue 
Vogel' planned a trip to the US Anki was invited to be member of the group, 
as well.  
When they returned to Berlin their friends advised them to go back to the 
U.S. and for Juan to get his American papers in order. He had to contact
family members in Paris, England, Italy and Russia and have all his 
aunts sign papers to swear that it was true that he was born in 
Philadelphia, USA and that his papers had been burnt in Russia. He 
immigrated to the U.S. in 1933, but Anki had to wait one and a half 
long years before she was able to enter the country, let alone get a 
working permit, since it took this long for the paperwork to be in order.

I have written about this SPIVAK family before, and this seems like a
solid lead. Does anyone know from where I could obtain whatever papers 
Juan filed with the US government? Those petitions would help establish 
the name of the ancestors who moved to these other cities (I have a photo 
of the one who went to London).

Thanks in advance for any leads...

Lanie Bergman
Bronx NY
Reference
Picture of Juan Spivak's signature
Discography

Odeon Wien/Berlin
          Pagliacci: Hüll' dich in Tand nur             X 25133
          Pagliacci: Scherzet immer, doch eines schont  X 25132
xB 3969?  Pagliacci: Nein, bin Bajazzo nicht bloß!      X 25534    X 99???
xxB 3951  Faust: Gegrüßt sei mir, o heil'ge Stätte      XX 76023   AA 56989
xB 3922   Faust: O gib junges Blut with  Emil Stammer   X 51352    X 99016
          Tosca: Und es blitzten die Sterne             X 64992    X 25056
          Tosca: Wie sich die Bilder gleichen           X 64997    X 25057 
xB 3967   Manon Lescaut: Ha, wagt's, sie zu berühren    X 99041    X 25228
xB 3966   Manon Lescaut: Wo lebte wohl ein Wesen        X 99054    X 25229
xB 3925   Martha: Wie das schnattert, wie das plappert  X 99006    X 51354
          with Juan Luria
xB 3902   Il Trovatore: Rings tiefes Schweigen!         X 99031    X 51351	
          with Juan Luria
xB 3970   Guillaume Tell: O Mathilde                    X 99060    X 51353
          with Juan Luria
xB 3901   CARMEN: Eine Linie tiefer                     X 99199    X 51355
          with Juan Luria
          Towau l'fonecho (Louis Lewandowski)           X 35819          
          Synagoge Rykestraße Berlin, Alexander Weinbaum 

Picture of Juan Spivak's label
Eden-Record M5194 Lohengrin: atmest du nicht di süssen Düfte 1097 M5195 Lohengrin: Höchstes Vertrauen 1097 Pathé 38659 Il Trovatore: Ach, bezähm' doch deine Wut 38659 with Jeritza & Melms 38670 Lohengrin: Das süsse Lied verhallt 38670 w. Jeritza 38682 Rigoletto: Freundlich blick' ich 38682 38683 Manon Lescaut: Du, du Geliebter 38683 w. Jeritza Homokord Faust: finale 1006 with Brunnhilde Ellis, Carl Nebe Der Troubadur: Di geloso amor 1069 with Juan Luria & Aline Sanden in German Tosca: E lucevan le stelle 1106 Il Trovatore: Duo with Gertrud Runge 1502 Aida: Misero appien mi with Margarete Leux 1539 Martha: Duet with Robert Leonhardt? 1547 Cavalleria rusticana: Duo with Margarete Leux 1548 Il Trovatore: Deserto sulla terra 1056 Carmen: Il fior che m'avi tu dato 1060 Il Trovatore Miserere with Aline Sanden 1176 Cavalleria rusticana: Brindisi 1788 A27422 Die Walküre: Liebeslied 1083
Picture of Juan Spivak's label
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the Spivak citizenship research.

Back to Index