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Helmut Melchert

Soloist, Tenor
He was born in Kiel on 24/09/1910. He studied piano and musicology at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater Hamburg and in 1934 he started his vocal studies. He made his debut in 1939 at Wuppertal. In 1943 he was hired by the Hamburg Staatsoper, remaining there for over 30 years (until 1977), where he was distinguished for his performance in Wagner’s works. At the same time he built an international career appearing in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Rome, Milan, Paris, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, etc. He mainly specialized in 20th century works. He sang in world premieres the roles of Arnold Schoenberg's Aron [Moses und Aron] (Zurich Opera, 1957), Friedrich Wilhelm in the opera The Prince of Homburg [Der prinz von Homburg] (Hamburg 1960), Tiresias in the Henze’s opera The Bassarids [Die Bassariden] (Salzburg, 1966) and the title role in Luigi Dallapiccola’s Ulisse (1968). He has also interpreted roles in the operas Incidents after a Crash-landing [Zwischenfälle bei einer Notlandung] by Boris Blacher, Gunther Schuller’s The visitation [Die Heimsuchung] and Matthias the Painter [Mathis der Mahler] by Paul Hindemith. Since 1961 he taught at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater Hamburg. He has recorded for the labels HMV (Salome, Das Rheingold), DGG (Wozzeck), Decca (The Condemnation of Lucullus/Die Verurteilung des Lukullus by P. Dessau), Fono (The Song of the Earth / Das Lied von der Erde), Philips (Karl V by E. Krenek), etc. He died in Hamburg on 12/09/1991. He worked with the GNO once, interpreting the title role in the opera Tannhauser (1962/63).