Johannes Sembach

March 9, 1881 Berlin - June 20, 1944 Bremerhaven

Picture of Johannes Sembach
Picture of Johannes Sembach as Canio
Picture of Johannes Sembach
Sembach was born Johannes Semfke. He appeared under his name during 1900-1904 at the Apollo-Theater in Berlin as baritone singing operettas. There he took part in the world premieres of Lysistrata and Nakiris Hochzeit by Paul Lincke. He recorded also under that name.

He decided to become an opera singer. He studied first in Vienna and then in Paris with Jean De Reszke.

He made his debut in 1904 at the Wiener Hofoper in 1904 and stayed there until 1907. His debut was on November 13, 1904 as Augustin Moser. His last performance was on June 9, 1907 as Augustin Moser. During his Vienna period, he sang: Messagero (Aida, 4 times), Trott (Die Abreise 5 times), Turiddu (6 times), Ottavio (4 times), Prinz Ferdinand (Flauto solo 4 times), Erik (12 times), Steuermann ( twice), Max (once), Rodolphe (Guillaume Tell once), Augustin Moser (8 times), Siegnot (Rose vom Liebesgarten 3 times), and Walter (Tannhäuser 9 times).

During 1907-13, he was a member of the Opera in Dresden. There, he too part in the world premieres of Die Schönen von Fogaras by Alfred Grünfeld on September 7, 1907 and Elektra as Ägist on January 25, 1909. He was also the first Lensky in Dresden in 1907.

In 1914, he sang at Covent Garden in the English premiere of Joseph by Méhul.

Sembach made his MET debut on November 26, 1914 as Parsifal. He was there until 1917 and then again in 1920. At the MET, he sang besides concerts:
Die Zauberflöte (December 10, 1914), Euryanthe, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Fidelio, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Siegfried, Lohengrin, The Taming of the Shrew, Iphigénie en Tauride, The Canterbury Pilgrims, Tristan und Isolde, and Samson et Dalila (14 roles and 91 appearances). His last appearance was at a concert on April 23, 1922.

He made guest appearances in Paris, London (1910 Loge and Siegmund; 1914 Parsifal, Lohengrin, Walther von Stolzing ), South America (Buenos Aires), ...

He retired in 1925 and taught singing in Berlin.

In 1927, Sembach made a guest appearance in Dresden and took part in the tour of the German Opera during 1930-1 in the USA.

In 1932, Sembach sang on the radio.
Reference Kutsch & Riemens

Johannes Sembach sings Madama Butterfly: Willst du nun endlich mir sagen, with Minie Nast

Johannes Sembach sings Die Walküre: Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond
In RA Format

Johannes Sembach sings Il Trovatore: Di quella pira
In RA Format

Johannes Sembach singsSiegfried : Nothung

In RA Format

I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the picture (Top).
I wish to thank Imogen Norcroft for the recording (Il Trovatore).

Discography (Partial)

Edison  2-min  cylinders,  Berlin  1905? (as Semfke)
      Frülingszucht: Komm doch, komm doch her zu mir
15027 Frühlingsluft (Strauss): Pfeifflied                                       15027
15040 Am Elterngrab                                                             15040
15050 Schön war's doch: Die süssen, kleinen Mägdelein                           15050
15054 Lysistrata (Lincke): Gluhwürmchen                                         15054

Lyrophon, Wien ca 1906/7
7224OE   Rigoletto: O wie so trügerisch                                         W.7224
7226OE   La dame blanche: Komm', o holde Dame                                   W.7226

Gramophone, Berlin 
243ac    Dies Meistersinger: Preislied                                          042233        Victor 99406	
252ac    Tiefland: Es kam in jeder Nacht ein Wolf in unseren Stall              042231
254ac    Die Meistersinger: Morgenlich leuchtend                                042233
255ac    Yevgyeniy Onyegin: Wohin seid ihr entschwunden                         042234
268ac    Madama Butterfly: Willst du nun endlich mir sagen (part 1)             044145
         with Minnie Nast
269ac    Madama Butterfly: Willst du nun endlich mir sagen (part 2)             044146
         with Minnie Nast
443m     La Boheme: Wie eiskalt ist                                             042237				 
1745½ab  Rigoletto: Freundlich blick' ich                                       4-42302
1746ab   Il Trovatore: Lodern zum Himmel                                        4-42300        Victor 63198
2006ab   Lohengrin: Nun sei bedankt ... Heil König Heinrich                     4-42372
3904r    Cavalleria rusticana: Ihr Freunde, kommt und trinkt!                   3-42959
3905r    Les Huguenots Plus blanche                                             3-42968 
3906r    Aida: Holde Aida                                                       3-42969
3907r    Martha: Ach so fromm, ach so traut                                     3-42960
10169l   Der fliegende Hollander: Mit Gewitter und Sturm                        4-42371

Vox, Berlin 1921
42A      Die Zauberflöte: Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön                     03014
43A      Die Walküre: Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond                         03015
44a      Lohengrin: Im fernem Land, unnahbar euren Schritten                    03016
46A      Die Meistersinger: Am stillen Herd in Winterszeit                      03015

Columbia New York 1916
48727-1  Der Freischütz: Durch die Wälder, durch die Auen                       A 5842
48729-1  Siegfried: Nothung!  Nothung!  Neidliches Schwert                      A 5842
48730-5  Lohengrin: Mein lieber Schwan!                                         A 5889

Clangor  Berlin 1932
MD 9619  Fidelio: Gott, welch' Dunkel hier! .. In dieses Leben Frühlingstagen   MD 9619
MD 9620  Fidelio: O namenlose Freude                                            MD 9620
         with Liselott Ammermann

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