Otto Wolf

Picture of Otto Wolf
with Emmy Krüger who never recorded

Otto Wolf sings Die Walküre: Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond
In RA Format
Otto Wolf was born on the 7th. of November 1871 in Bernburg. Wolf started to be a violinist already playing in public when he was 9 years old. First Wolf undertook a business apprenticeship. During a private concert, his voice was noticed by Kammersängerin Wilhelme Niehr-Bingerheimer who gave him his first lessons. After Wolf studied with the bariton Adolf Sondegg. Wolf stated his career in 1897 as Almaviva in Sonderhausen, there he was labelled an Heldentenor! In 1898, he was in Lübeck where he met the soprano Elisabeth Hölldobler, whom he later married. in 1894 Hölldobler was a Blumenmädchen in Parsifal in Bayreuth. This was the closest, Wolf was ever associated with Bayreuth. During the first years of his career, he sang as lyric and jugendlicher tenor, only in Munich, was Wolf considered an heldentenor. His wife was dramatic soprano in Freiburg while he was singing in Mainz then Darmstadt (1901), where he sang: Postillon, José, Tamino, Alfredo, Riccardo, Manrico, and Turiddu. On May 1st. 1901, Wolf sang in Darmstadt in the premiere of Gugeline (Composer Ludwig Thuille). His next premiere was at the Grossherzoglich Hessischen Hoftheater on January 5th. 1902 in der Polnische Jude of Karel Zeiss.
His next big debut was as Lyonel in Munich March 13th, 1907. During the summer of 1907, Wolf sang Froh at the Prinzregententheater in Munich. He left Darmstadt after singing José on May 19th. 1909. In the same role, he made his troupe debut in Munich on September 24th 1909. First Wolf started to sing his standard repertory. During the Summer festival in Munich, he sang Froh and junger Seemann (Tristan) in 1910. Wolf sang at the Residenztheater in Munich Titus (new production), Ferrando, Ottavio and Belmonte. Until 1912, Wolf sang Max, Erik, Lohengrin, Rodolfo, Pinkerton, Faust, Raoul and Elézar and appeared in the premiere of Franfreluche (composer Wilhelm Mauke) and Ariadne aud Naxos. He switched to the Heldentenor repertory in Munich singing Stolzing(1913) and Parsifal (1, 21 June 1914). During the summer festival, he also sang Parsifal, Froh and Stolzing.
The summer festival reopened in Munich 1919, where he sang Tristan, Siegmund and both Siegfried (1920). The war killed a big possible international career. Finally in 1923 he replaced Urlus as Tristan in Amsterdam. This was followed by appearences in France, Italy, Denmark, Turkey and Spain. His repertory is said to have been around 170 roles a lot more than Domingo, that included Ilsebill (Kloses), Rose vom Liebesgarten (Pfizner), Königskinder and Zauberflöte.

In 1928, he sang for the first and last time in Buenos Aires. His last performance during the summer festival was as Tristan (130 times in Munich) in 1929. On November 7, 1934, he sang Tannhäuser and retired. Forgotten, Wolf died on March 8, 1946.

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

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