Soomer, Walter, German bass-baritone; b. Liegnitz, March 12, 1878; d. Leipzig, Aug. 1955. He was a student of Hermann Stoeckert and Anna Uhlig in Berlin. In 1902 he made his operatic debut in Kolmar. After singing in Halle (1902–06), he was a member of the Leipzig Opera (1906–27). He also appeared at the Bayreuth Festivals (1906; 1908–14; 1924–25). On Feb. 18, 1909, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Wolfram, remaining on its roster until 1911. From 1911 to 1915 he sang in Dresden. In 1927 he became director of his own vocal and opera school in Leipzig. Soomer was best known as a Wagnerian, singing such roles as Hans Sachs, Wotan, Gurnemanz, Kurwenal, and Amfortas.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire