Max Mikorey

Picture of Max Mikore

Mikorey was born on September 15th. 1850 in Weihmichl near Landshut. When he was 10 years old, he studied Latin in Landshut, then went to Munich for advanced studies. In Munich, he met the tenor Martin Härtinger who told him he should become a singer and gave him free lessons. When he was 18 years old, he became a chorus tenor at the Opera in Augsburg. In 1869, Mikorey moved to the Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich as second buffo tenor for operettas. In 1870, he was called by the army to fight in the war with France. Six months later, he returned to civil life. He appeared without being noticed as an actor and operetta buffo tenor. On July 10th. 1875, Heinrich Vogl heard in the Munich premiere of die Fledermaus, recognized his vocal potential, and became his most important teacher, in spite of being only five years older than Mikorey. In 1878, Vogl managed to get him hired at the Hofoper where he became Bayerischer Kammersänger. He sang both lyrical and dramatic parts. He could have competed with the first tenors (Franz Nachbaur and Heinrich Vogl) in Munich, but he was not inclined to do so. He was the perfect replacement for them when they were indisposed as Mikorey could take over any parts. He was also willing to sing parts like Arturo (Lucia) and Gastone next to the two star tenors. Depending of what was necessary, he sang Canio or Beppe, Florestan or Jaquino and also sang the messenger in Aida next to the debutant Knote, in spite of Radames being his part. Mikorey sang Arindal in Die Feen about 70 times between the posthumous premiere (29 June 1888) and the turn of the century. After all the tenors in Munich declared the part of Guntram unsingable, Mikorey sang it. After the premiere on November 16th. 1895, Mikorey requested a higher pension to sing it again. The work was then retired.

Mikorey did not reach the level of his teacher. He was a slow lerner. Regarding his acting abilities, there were different opinions. Wilhelm Maucke said of his Stolzing in 1895 that he was good interpreter of the role, while in 1896 wrote that he had problems. Mikorey had problems with Kunihild (composer Cyrill Kistlers) during the world premiere on 18th. April 1896. The critics wrote that he changed the words to accomodate him so that some times they meant the opposite.

In 1882, Vogel recommend him for a small part (Knappe) in Parsifal in Bayreuth. Mikorey repeated the part in 1883. He did not sing anything else in Bayreuth. In Munich, Mikorey sang starting in 1892 in the year long Wagner Cyklischen Musteraufführungen many outstanding performances as Stolzing, Lohengrin and Tannhäuser, often putting guests in the shadow. When Vogl died in 1900, Mikorey went back to supporting parts. He sang for the last time in Munich as Melot on August 28th. 1905. He died from a heart attack two years later (29 November 1907).

Reference: Einhard Luther, So viel der Helden, Biographie eines stimmfaches Teil 3, Wagnertenöre der Kaiserzeit, (1871-1918)

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