- J.B. Steane
(b Bremen, July 20, 1914; d Copenhagen, Oct 10, 1965). German baritone. He studied as a bass at Philipp Kraus’s opera school in Bremen, where he made his début as Titurel in Parsifal (1936). After some years at Freiburg and Munich he first appeared in baritone roles at The Hague in 1942. A prisoner-of-war from 1944 to 1947, he then sang regularly at Hamburg, Vienna and Munich. He scored a great success at Covent Garden with the Munich company as Mandryka in Arabella (1953), and later with the resident company as Gunther and Telramund, roles in which he was generally recognized as unsurpassed in his lifetime. He sang at Bayreuth and Salzburg, and made a particular impression at the Metropolitan Opera with his Wozzeck, sung in English. He created many roles, including Creon in Orff’s Antigonae (which, like his performance of Wagner’s Dutchman, is still impressive on record). He died during a performance of Bentzon’s ...