Blass, Robert, American bass of German parents; b. N.Y., Oct. 7, 1867; d. Berlin, Dec. 3, 1930. He went to Leipzig in 1887 to study violin, but then pursued vocal instruction from Stockhausen in Frankfurt am Main. In 1892 he made his operatic debut as King Heinrich in Weimar, and then sang in various German opera centers. In 1899 he appeared at London’s Covent Garden. On Nov. 13, 1900, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Hermann in Tannhäuser during the company’s visit to San Francisco. He first sang on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. as Rocco on Dec. 28, 1900, and remained on its roster until 1910 and again from 1920 to 1922. In 1901 he appeared as Gurnemanz and Hagen at Bayreuth and sang at the Berlin Deutsches Opernhaus from 1913 to 1919.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire