Wilhelm Ulmer

Picture of Wilhelm Ulmer as Froh
Wilhelm Ulmer as Froh
Wilhelm Ulmer was born in Munich on January 15, 1879. His father was a business man, and he first worked in his father's business. In 1906, Ulmer took singing lessons and against his father's will he decided to become a singer. He made his debut in Augsburg as Siegmund. The issue of February 1910 of Die Musik wrote:
In one of the performance of Die Walkükure, Willi Ulmer dared to make his stage debut as Siegmund. It was not bad, and he showed musical and acting abilities.
After receiving good reviews in Tannhäuser, Siegfried Wagner invited for a test in Bayreruth. As a result, Siegfried Wagner promised to keep an eye on him. Ulmer moved to the Zürich Stadttheater in 1910. There he sang in the local premiere of Parsifal on April 13, 1913. At that time, Siegfried Wagner sent Kapellmeister Carl Kittel to Zürich. As a result, Siegfried Wagner decided to call him to Bayreuth during the summer of 1913 for further studies. After another Parsifal on August 31, 1913 in Zürich, Ulmer was invited to sing Froh, Parsifal, and Siegmund in Bayreuth in 1914. Karl Grundsky in the magazine Musik wrote:
small, somewhat soft, voice with nice musical qualities and noble acting.
So Ulmer Bayreuth's career was almost finished after it just started. He was Bayreuth's last Parsifal (31 July) before the festival closed down for 10 years due to the start of the war. He was just hired in Düsseldorf, when the war started and was called immediately by the military. Graf von Bylandt (intendent in Kassel) managed, during one of Ulmer's home visit during the war, to get him to sing in Kassel, where he sang Siegmund with great success. Graf von Bylandt and Kapellmeister Laugs wanted to hire him immediately for Kassel but had not the proper influence in the army to get him out. Ulmer stayed in the army until the end of the war. He started his singing career again in 1918 in Elberfeld, but he could not renew with his previous succes. Staring 1925, his name can no longer be found in the different yearbooks of the German theaters.
Reference: Einhard Luther, So viel der Helden, Biographie eines stimmfaches Teil 3, Wagnertenöre der Kaiserzeit, (1871-1918)
Reference: Einhard Luther, Helden an geweihtem Ort, Biographie eines stimmfaches Teil 2, Wagnertenöre in Bayreuth, (1884-1914)

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