Karl Friedrich

15 January 1905 Vienna – 8 April 1981 Vienna

Picture of Karl Friedrich
Karl Friedrich

Karl Friedrich singsFedora: Liebe verbietet, Lieb' zu verbieten, with Maud Cunitz

Karl Friedrich singsDie tote Stadt: Du weißt, dass ich in Brügge blieb, with Benno Kusche
In RA format

Karl Friedrich singsMein Herz ruft immer nur nach dir (film): Mein Herz ruft immer nur nach dir, o Marita
In RA format

Friedrich's biography is not entirely clear. Depending on sources, he was either a locksmith or a carpenter before studying voice. He began his career in Germany, either in Karlruhe in 1931, or sang already earlier smaller roles somewhere else, or began in Magdeburg without any Karlruhe affiliation. That he was a member of the Magdeburg theater at some time is certain; he was obviously also active in Ulm, Stralsund and Düsseldorf (1936–38).

In 1937, he sang at the Vienna State Opera for the first time, a very successful José, and became a member of the troupe the following year; he was to spend the rest of his career, until 1970, at that theater. Guest appearances: Salzburg Festival, Covent Garden, Teatre Liceu, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Städtische Oper Berlin, Munich, Brussels, Budapest. At the Vienna Volksoper, he sang a lot of operetta with particular success. In opera, he was Stolzing, Lohengrin, Erik, Pedro, Florestan, Matteo, Manrico, Radames, Duca, Don Carlo, Grigorij, Faust or Jeník.

He was a pillar of the Vienna State Opera, particularly in its period at the Theater an der Wien (1945–55, while the building of the State Opera was being reconstructed after the war bombing). He was audibly a great admirer of Richard Tauber, but what he failed to copy was his hero's charm and individuality.

Reference 1: Kutsch & Riemens, reference 2, reference 3

I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recordings and picture.

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