Niemann, Albert

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Niemann, Albert

Niemann, Albert, greatly respected German tenor; b. Erxleben, near Magdeburg, Jan. 15, 1831; d. Berlin, Jan. 13, 1917. He began his career as an actor and dramatist. He joined the Dessau Opera (1849), where he sang in the chorus and appeared in minor roles; then had lessons with F. Schneider and Nusch. He sang in Halle from 1852 to 1854, then in Hannover; he then went to Paris, where he studied with Duprez. In 1866 he was engaged at the Berlin Royal Opera, remaining on its roster until 1888. Wagner thought highly of him, and asked him to create the role of Tannhäuser in Paris (March 13, 1861) and of Siegmund at the Bayreuth Festival (Aug. 14, 1876). From 1886 to 1888 he was a member of the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y.; his debut there was in his star role as Siegmund (Nov. 10, 1886); then he sang Tristan at the American premiere of Tristan und Isolde (Dec. 1, 1886) and Siegfried in Götterdämmerung (Jan. 25, 1888) there. He publ. Erinnerungen an Richard Wagner (Leipzig, 1907; Eng. tr., 1908); his correspondence with Wagner was ed. by W. Altmann (Berlin, 1924).


R. Sternfeld, A. N. (Berlin, 1904).

—Nicolas Slomnisky/Laura Kaun/Dennis McIntire