Notes and Editorial Reviews
Initially studying law in Berlin, Herbert Janssen took vocal instruction from Oscar Daniel and began his career in 1922 as the Count in Schrekerís Schatzgraber in Berlin. While he sang primarily Italian roles in the German capital, he scored a breakthrough at the Zoppot Festival as Wolfram. After that, he sang every summer at one or the other of the great Wagner festivals. His roles at Zoppot, Bayreuth and Covent Garden included Heerrufer, Gunther, Amfortas, Kothner and Telramund. After leaving Germany in 1937, he came to America, eventually succeeding Friedrich Schorr at the Met as the premier heroic baritone of the house. The ìheavyî heroic parts eventually took their toll and, by 1950, he was once again singing the showpiece roles of Telramund, Hollander and Amfortas. His final appearance at the Met was as Kothner in April 1952. In later years he would teach voice, up until his death in New York in 1965. In America today, he is still considered one of the leading singers of a Wagner ensemble that remains immortal which included such great names as Frida Leider, Lauritz Melchior and Friedrich Schorr.