Bockelmann, Rudolf (August Louis Wilhelm)

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Bockelmann, Rudolf (August Louis Wilhelm)

Bockelmann, Rudolf (August Louis Wilhelm), German bass–baritone; b. Bodenteich, April 2, 1892; d. Dresden, Oct. 9, 1958. He studied in Celle and with Lassner, Soomer, and Scheidemantel in Leipzig. In 1920 he made his operatic debut in Celle. In 1921 he sang the Herald in Lohengrin at the Leipzig Opera, where he appeared until 1926. From 1926 to 1932 he sang at the Hamburg City Theater. He also appeared at the Bayreuth Festivals (1928–42), London’s Covent Garden (1929–30; 1934–38), and the Chicago Opera (1930–32). From 1932 to 1945 he was a member of the Berlin State Opera. Guest engagements also took him to Milan, Paris, Rome, Vienna, and Munich. His Nazi inclinations precluded engagements outside Germany after World War II. After teaching voice in Hamburg, he went to Dresden in 1955 as a prof. at the Hochschule für Musik. He was particularly esteemed as a Wagnerian, winning praise for his portrayals of Hans Sachs, Wotan, Kurwenal, Gunther, and the Dutchman.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire