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Helge Rosvaenge

Biography

Born: August 29, 1897; Copenhagen, Denmark   Died: June 19, 1972; Munich, Germany  
Helge Rosvaenge stood atop the heap of dramatic tenors in Central Europe for more than three decades. An unusual measure of vocal longevity sustained his popularity at several important venues (especially in Vienna) and lent his name a legendary aura even as his career remained an active one. With firmly concentrated lower and middle registers and a powerful, blossoming top, he was well-suited for a broad repertory from Mozart to Verdi to Read more Strauss. While recordings of arias from Wagner's Die Meistersinger reveal an exemplary blend of thrust and lyricism, Rosvaenge wisely limited his stage appearances in this composer's works. Such caution almost certainly allowed him to maintain his voice in such remarkable order so far into his singing years.

Largely self-taught, Rosvaenge made his operatic debut in 1921 as Rodolfo at Neustrelitz, the invitation having been extended in the wake of a successful recital; appearances followed at Altenburg and Basle. Cologne engaged him from 1927 to 1930 and, beginning in 1930, he was a member at the Berlin Staatsoper. In Berlin, he was valued for his performances of the Italian repertory, surpassing his colleagues in the appropriate shaping of arias and ensembles in works by Verdi and Puccini. During this period, he also introduced himself to audiences in Munich and Vienna, quickly becoming a favorite in each house. He first appeared at the 1933 Salzburg Festival and remained there until the beginning of WWII in such varied roles as Tamino, Huon, and Florestan.

Rosvaenge ventured Parsifal at Bayreuth in 1934 and 1936 and made his debut at Covent Garden in a 1938 production of Fidelio conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. With the Leonore of Rose Pauly and the Rocco of Ludwig Weber, Rosvaenge made a positive impression, bringing "authority and tenseness" to his performance. The Anschluss in Austria and outbreak of war the next year put a stop to further appearances.

Rosvaenge's Florestan was not his only collaboration with Beecham. He had been the conductor's choice (and that of producer Walter Legge) for a Berlin recording of Die Zauberflöte the preceding year. That his stentorian tenor was regarded by two such particular individuals as an exemplary fit for the lyric role of Tamino says much about the tenor's adaptability. Together with Tiana Lemnitz, Erna Berger, and Gerhard Hüsch, Rosvaenge was part of a recording project that was regarded from the outset as historic.

During WWII, Rosvaenge often sang for the Axis powers and found at war's end that his enthusiastic participation had caused considerable political problems. When he was finally cleared by the Allies, however, he actively resumed his career. He remained with the Vienna Staatsoper as an active member until 1958. His only American appearances were in recital. In his New York programs, sung when he was past his mid-sixties, he amazed audiences with the extraordinary power he could still summon and his clarion top register.

Rosvaenge recorded extensively: arias, longer excerpts from opera, occasional lighter works (he was notably successful in operetta), and lieder. In addition to his Tamino, his Bacchus in the 1935 Berlin recording of Ariadne auf Naxos with Viorica Ursuleac (opera only, not the prologue) set a standard not equaled since. The unwavering steadiness and heroic impact of his high range predestined him for Strauss' awkwardly written tenor protagonists. Read less
Verdi: Aida / Keilberth, Teschemacher, Karén, Rosvaenge
Release Date: 06/18/1996   Label: Preiser Records  
Catalog: 90274   Number of Discs: 2
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Verdi: Rigoletto / Heger, Rosvaenge, Schlusnus, Et Al
Release Date: 03/28/2006   Label: Berlin Classics  
Catalog: 3300   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 1-25 of 81 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Grandioso! - Great Verdi Recordings From Caruso To Pavarotti [7 CD-Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001928802 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Sándor Kónya,  Maria Németh,  Ebe Stignani,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  János Kulka,  Alberto Erede,  Bruno Bartoletti  ... 
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  • 2.
    Voices Of German Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40497 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Edda Moser,  Kurt Moll,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Berislav Klobucar,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Dream Ticket To La Traviata
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 21004 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Richard Tucker,  Anna Moffo,  Virginia Zeani,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
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  • 4.
    Belcanto - The Tenors Of The 78 Era, Part 2
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2050218 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various
    Performer:  John McCormack,  Helge Rosvaenge,  Ivan Kozlovsky,  Jussi Björling  ... 
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  • 5.
    German Opera & Operetta / Schlusnus, Rehkemper, Patzak, Berger
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459007 Release Date: 08/20/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert Lortzing,  Max Niederberger,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Heinrich Schlusnus,  Leo Slezak,  Walther Ludwig,  Viorica Ursuleac  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Schutz,  Gerhard Steeger,  Clemens Krauss,  Karl Böhm  ... 
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  • 6.
    Great Singers And Musicians In Copenhagen, 1931-1939
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 691/96 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anny Konetzni,  Lauritz Melchior,  Zedenka Zikova,  Viorica Tango  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Weisbach,  Nicolai Malko,  Bruno Walter,  Egisto Tango  ... 
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  • 7.
    Mozart: Die Zauberflote / Arturo Toscanini, Kipnis, Rosvaenge
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 397 Release Date: 12/08/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Alexander Kipnis,  Helge Rosvaenge,  Julie Osvath,  Jarmila Novotná  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    The Record of Singing - The Very Best of Vols 1-4
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28956 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Arthur Sullivan,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Marian Anderson,  Kosti Vehanen,  Dame Clara Butt,  Richard Crooks  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Schmalstich,  Clarence Raybould,  Georges Lauweryns,  Nat Finston  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Verdi: Requiem / Karajan, Klose, Zadek, Rosvaenge, Christoff
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 23415 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Margarete Klose,  Hilde Zadek,  Boris Christoff,  Helge Rosvaenge
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 10.
    Singers To Remember - Helge Roswaenge - Opera And Operetta
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 9775 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge
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  • 11.
    Ten Top Tenors / Caruso, Roswaenge, Gigli, Tauber, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1005 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Gaetano Donizetti,  E. A. Mario  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Tauber,  Tito Schipa,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Lauritz Melchior  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Rosario Bourdon,  Walter Rogers,  Lawrence Collingwood  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Heinrich Schlusnus - Baritone
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3306 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach,  Richard Wagner,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Heinrich Schlusnus,  Helge Rosvaenge
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Johannes Schüler,  Leo Blech,  Hanns Steinkopf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Helge Rosvaenge Erzählt Sein Leben
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90334 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Schwarz,,  Jens Laurson Emborg,  Osman Perez Freire
    Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge,  Ilonka Holndonner
    Conductor:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Volksoper Orchestra,  Ilja Livschakoff Künstler Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Helge Rosvaenge Und Die Leichte Muse 1927-1937
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89225 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hermann Krome,  Franz Grothe,  Teodoro Cottrau,  Ettinger,  ... 
    Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge,  Ilonka Rosvaenge,  Lillie Claus,  Else Kochhann
    Conductor:  Hans Schwieger,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Alois Melichar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Ilja Livschakoff Tanz Orchestra,  Ilja Livschakoff Künstler Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Maria Cebotari - Arien, Duette, Szenen
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90248 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Maria Cebotari,  Walther Ludwig,  Helge Rosvaenge,  Karl Schmitt-Walter  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Gerhard Steeger,  Robert Heger,  Hanns Steinkopf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Verdi: Messa Da Requiem / Keilbeth, Teschemacher, Willer
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90068 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Inger Karén,  Margarete Teschemacher,  Helge Rosvaenge,  Georg Hann  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Chorus Women,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Stuttgart Reichssenders Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Helge Rosvaenge - Tenor
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3305 Release Date: 09/05/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Hanns Steinkopf,  Robert Heger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Chorus
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  • 18.
    Verdi: Ein Maskenball / Berlin Radio Choir And Orchestra
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90694 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Hildegard Ranczak,  Gertrud Callam,  Augusto Garavello,  Hans Muller  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinrich Steiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Chorus,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Margarete Teschemacher Vol 2 - Recordings 1933-1943
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10245 Release Date: 04/27/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Margarete Teschemacher,  Max Lorenz,  Marcel Wittrisch,  Inger Karén  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth
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  • 20.
    Tiana Lemnitz Vol 1 - Opera Scenes
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10143 Release Date: 04/27/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Tiana Lemnitz,  Karl Schmitt-Walter,  Torsten Ralf,  Margarete Klose  ... 
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  • 21.
    Mozart Singers Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90690 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Ludwig Weber,  Emmy Loose,  Wilhelm Tisch,  Wilma Lipp  ... 
    Conductor:  Felix Prohaska,  Josef Krips,  Alexander Krannhals,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Hildegarde Ranczak
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89639 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Hildegard Ranczak,  Peter Anders,  Mathieu Ahlersmeyer,  Helge Rosvaenge
    Conductor:  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Arthur Rother,  Franz Schmidt,  Clemens Krauss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 23.
    Verdi: Rigoletto / Heger, Rosvaenge, Schlusnus, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3300 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Heinrich Schlusnus,  Helge Rosvaenge,  Erna Berger,  Margery Booth  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Heger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Chorus
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  • 24.
    Reopening Of The Vienna State Opera - 1955 / Goltz, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90675 Release Date: 11/29/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Emmy Loose,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Karl Kamann,  Rudolf Lustig  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Ackermann,  Meinhard Von Zallinger,  Herbert Kegel,  Wilhelm Schüchter  ... 
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  • 25.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - 24 Nessun Dorma Da Turandot
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1159 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Gianfranco Cecchele,  Antonio Salvarezza,  Georges Thill,  Alessandro Granda  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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