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 Richard Tauber

Richard Tauber

Birth
Austria
Death 8 Jan 1948 (aged 56)
Greater London, England
Burial West Brompton, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 4110 · View Source
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Richard Tauber was born in Linz, Austria, the illegitimate son of Richard Anton Tauber and Elisabeth Seiffert. His father was an actor and theatre director, his mother a widowed actress. The boy was raised by his mother until he was seven and named Ernst Seiffertand later by his father, who officially gave Richard his name. Tauber's early association with the theatre no doubt contributed to the development of his enormous musical talent.
After training with Beines, Tauber made his debut at Chemnitz in 1913 where he sang the roles of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Max in Der Freischütz. He was quickly engaged for major roles at the Dresden Opera, where he stayed until 1926. This time to join the Vienna Staatsoper. Within a decade he had sung on most of the world's great operatic stages. He gained a reputation as a quick learner and strong performer, which lead to his nickname as the "S.O.S. Tenor." His sweet and superbly managed voice, full of musicianship, was especially well suited for the Mozartian tenor roles. Fame came almost instantly for him.
From 1923-32 he became a well known singer of operetta, especially the roles associated with his famous collaboration with Franz Lehár. Tauber sang the leading male roles in the Lehár operettas - each of which traditionally included a "Tauber song" composed especially for the tenor. Through these roles he became the best known and most popular singer in Germany and Austria. Unlike most of his operatic peers at this time, Tauber had also gained a stunning reputation as both a critically acclaimed composer and conductor. He was known to have completed an orchestral suite, two operettes and dozens of art songs.
Unfortunately, Tauber's father was half Jewish. This was enough for the Nazis to condemn him. Despite his fame and popularity, the singer had to flee Hitler's Germany, and later, Austria. Britain welcomed him, however, and Tauber made his permanent home in England. There he continued to sing in opera and operetta, appeared regularly on radio programs and in concerts, made motion pictures, composed, conducted and recorded. He remained in London for the rest of his years, until his unfortunate death in 1948.
Tauber, being as popular as he was, completed a total of 735 commercial recordings. Additionally, numerous private recordings and air checks are also known to exist. His recordings include opera, operetta, art song, popular tunes and novelties. Tauber loved opera, but he believed that popular music was also worth performing. In his later years, his concerts were divided between serious and light music. Tauber was often critcised for his mixture of serious art with popular songs, but rather than defiling the former, he dignified the latter. No other singer could make their performance of popular music sound so important.
Richard Tauber made his last stage apperance as Ottavio in Don Giovanni, performed at Covent Garden on September 27, 1947. He had been fighting a battle with cancer for quite some time. During this final performance, his left lung was nearly consumed by cancer, but this did not stop him from giving one of the strongest performances of his life. Those who attended the performance or listened to the broadcast can attest that Tauber remained a great and dedicated artist to the very last.

Bio by: Trevor Peak


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 6 Dec 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4110
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Tauber (16 May 1891–8 Jan 1948), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4110, citing Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .