Paul Struensee

Picture of Paul Struensee

Paul Struensee was born Paul Kallensee. Kallensee studied with the baritone Georg Brandes and made his debut in Strassburg as a baritone in 1902. After that, Kallensee went to Kiel where he met his future wife the coloratura soprano Olga von Sturen. She advised him that he could be a tenor and recommended that he further study with Benno Stolzenberg in Berlin. After a year, he felt that he was ready to sing again. He began his new career as Paul Struensee in 1904 in Augsburg, in spite of the opposition from his teacher. In 1905, he was in Altenburg singing Raoul, Vasco, Eléazar, Masaniello, Canio, Hüon, Manrico, Loge, Faust, Siegmund, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin in spite of not having the necessary technique to sing those parts. In 1905, Struensee left Altenburg, went to Koblenz and then to Mainz in 1907, where he created a furor with his interpretation of the young Siegfried. In 1911, he sang in the Ring cycle all the four tenor roles in Magdeburg. According to Max Hasse in Musik, he sang without weaknesses, good voice and excellent interpretation. Soon Struensee's method of singing on his capital started showing vocal detoriation. Already in 1912, he was criticized for pushing, flatness and tiredness. In 1913, Struensee moved to Darmstadt. He sang mostly Wagner parts in Southern Germany without any breakthrough. In 1915, Struensee volunteered to the army and ended as an ambulance driver. In 1919, he went back to Darmstadt and in 1921 to Königsberg where his wife had a contract while he sang in the chorus. He moved to Berlin 1923 where he also sang in the chorus (Deutsche Oper). He appeared for the last time on stage in Le Propète on December 25th. 1930. He died suddenly on January 2nd. 1931.
Reference: Einhard Luther, So viel der Helden, Biographie eines stimmfaches Teil 3, Wagnertenöre der Kaiserzeit, (1871-1918)

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