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Mayr, Richard

Mayr, Richard , renowned Austrian bass-baritone; b. Henndorf, near Salzburg, Nov. 18, 1877; d. Vienna, Dec. 1, 1935. He studied medicine in Vienna before being persuaded by Mahler to take up music. After training at the Vienna Cons., he made his operatic debut as Hagen at the Bayreuth Festival (1902). He then was engaged by Mahler for the Vienna Opera, where he made his first appearance as Don Gomez in Emani that same year. He remained on the company’s roster until his death, and was also a principal singer at the Salzburg Festivals (1921–34). He made his first appearance at London’s Covent Garden as Baron Ochs, his most celebrated role, on May 23, 1924, and continued to appear there until 1931. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Pogner on Nov. 2, 1927, remaining on the company’s roster until 1930. Mayr possessed a rich and powerful voice, equally suited for serious and buffo roles. In addition to his remarkable portrayal of Baron Ochs, he also excelled as Figaro, Leporello, Sarastro, Wotan, Gurnemanz, and Rocco. He was chosen by Strauss to create the role of Barak in his Die Frau ohne Schatten (Vienna, Oct. 10, 1919).


: H. Holz, R. M. (Vienna, 1923); O. Kunz, R. M. (Vienna, 1933).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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