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Josef Beck (1848-1903) in 1885.

  • Profession: Baritone.
  • Relation to Mahler: Worked with Gustav Mahler.
  • Correspondence with Mahler:
  • Born: 11-07-1848 Budapest, Hungary.
  • Died: 15-02-1903 Bratislava (Pressburg), Slovakia.
  • Buried: 00-00-0000 Unknown.
  1. 1886 Concert Prague 07-05-1886 (piano).

Joseph Beck (1848, Vienna - 1903, Pozsony, Hungarian Kingdom) was an Austrian operatic baritone of Hungarian descent, and the son of opera singer Johann Nepomuk Beck. Possessing a rich dramatic voice, he became a particularly lauded artist within the repertoire of Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi. He notably portrayed the role of Richard the Lion Heart in the world premiere of Albert Dietrich's Robin Hood in 1879 and the role of Amaury de Montfort in the world premiere of Jules Deswert's Die Albigenser in 1880. He also sang the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni for the opening of the Opern- und Schauspielhaus Frankfurt in 1880. Beck was a member of various opera companies during his career including the Vienna State Opera, the Hamburg State Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera among others. He gave up his career after 1895 to look after his ailing father, who ironically out-lived him by one year.

Beck sang a wide repertoire that encompassed German opera, Italian opera, and French opera. Among the many roles he portrayed are Pizarro in Beethoven's Fidelio, the title role in Peter Cornelius's Der Barbier von Bagdad, Petruchio in Hermann Goetz's Der Widerspänstigen Zähmung, King Solomon in Karl Goldmark’s Die Königin von Saba, Valentin in Charles Gounod's Faust, Katwald in Heinrich Hofmann's Armin, Lars in E. Kretschmar's Die Folkunger, Comte de Nevers in Giacomo Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, Nélusko in Meyerbeer's L'Africaine, Hunold Singuf in Viktor Nessler's Der Rattenfänger von Hameln, the title role in Gioachino Rossini's William Tell, Friedrich of Telramund in Richard Wagner's Lohengrin, Hans Sachs and Veit Pogner in Wagner's Die Meistersinger, Alberich in Wagner's Das Rheingold, Wolfram in Wagner's Tannhäuser, Kurwenal in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, the title role in Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto, Count di Luna in Verdi's Il trovatore, Renato in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, and Amonasro in Verdi's Aida among others.

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Sänger (Bariton). Gesangsunterricht vom Vater und zunächst Ausbildung zum Litographen, wandte er sich schließlich doch der Bühne zu. 1865 Debüt am Stadttheater von Olmütz, danach am Theater von Karlsbad tätig. Nach einer weiteren Ausbildung in Wien folgten Engagements in Laibach, Frankfurt am Main/D und Köln/D. 1872-1874 in Salzburg, 1874-1875 in Graz. Nach Stationen in der Berliner Hofoper und der Frankfurter Oper wechselte B. 1885 an das Deutsche Theater in Prag. 1887-1888 Engagement in Bremen/D, 1888-1890 an der Metropolitan Opera in New York/USA. Als sein Vater zunehmend in geistige Umnachtung fiel, gab er seine Karriere weitgehend auf, um ihn in Pressburg zu pflegen. Hier war er 1895-1896 noch einmal als Sänger und Regisseur tätig. 

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