Richard Tauber

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Tauber, Richard

Tauber, Richard, eminent Austrian-born English tenor; b. Linz, May 16, 1891; d. London, Jan. 8, 1948. He was the illegitimate son of the actor Richard Anton Tauber; his mother was a soubrette singer. He was christened Richard Denemy after his mother’s maiden name, but he sometimes used the last name Seiffert, his mother’s married name. He took courses at the Hoch Cons, in Frankfurt am Main and studied voice with Carl Beines in Freiburg im Breisgau. He made his operatic debut at Chemnitz as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (March 2, 1913) with such success that he was engaged in the same year at the Dresden Court Opera; made his first appearance at the Berlin Royal Opera as Strauss’s Bacchus in 1915, and later won particular success in Munich and Salzburg for his roles in Mozart’s operas. About 1925 he turned to lighter roles, and won remarkable success in the operettas of Lehár. He made his U.S. debut on Oct. 28, 1931, in a N.Y. recital. In 1938 he settled in England, where he appeared as Tamino and Belmonte at London’s Co vent Garden. In 1940 he became a naturalized British subject. He wrote an operetta, Old Chelsea, taking the leading role at its premiere (London, Feb. 17, 1943). He made his last American appearance at Carnegie Hall in N.Y. on March 30, 1947.


H. Ludwigg, ed., R. T (Berlin, 1928); D. Napier-Tauber (his 2nd wife), R. T.(Glasgow, 1949); W. Korb, R. T.(Vienna, 1966); C. Castle and D. Napier-Tauber, This Was R. T.(London, 1971).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Tauber [Seiffert], Richard (b Linz, 1892; d London, 1948). Austrian-born tenor, conductor, and composer (Brit. cit. 1940). Début Chemnitz 1913 (Tamino in Die Zauberflöte). Dresden Opera 1913–22; Berlin Opera 1915; Vienna Opera 1922–8, 1932–8; Salzburg Fest. début 1922; Berlin State Opera 1923–33; CG 1938–9 (but had often sung in Eng. before then in operettas); Amer. début (NY recital) 1931. Superb Mozart and Lieder singer, also known for his perfs. in operetta, especially those of Lehár, whose work he first sang in Vienna 1922 (Frasquita). Wrote musicals, e.g. Old Chelsea. Made last appearances in NY March 1947 and at CG autumn 1947, singing Ottavio in Don Giovanni with colleagues of Vienna Opera on their visit to London although he had serious lung trouble which led to his death a few months later.

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TAUBER, RICHARD (Ernst Seiffert ; 1892–1948), singer. Born in Linz, Austria, Tauber studied at Frankfurt. In 1913 he was engaged under a five-year contract by the Dresden opera, where he sang leading tenor parts. He also sang at various other renowned opera houses in Germany and Austria, and at the Salzburg Mozart festivals. From about 1925 he turned to light opera, especially the Lehar operettas (e.g., Land of Smiles) in which he became internationally famous; and after 1928, also appeared in musical films. In 1938 he settled in England, where he appeared at Covent Garden. His voice charmed audiences by its tenor quality, pleasant tone, and graceful inflections. Tauber composed an operetta, Old Chelsea (1942), and appeared in its leading role.

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