Carl Pfann

17 January 1874 Vienna – 7 May 1928 Leoben

It was in reply to a newspaper ad by a travelling company that Carl Pfann became a straight theater actor in 1892, without any training at all. He made his debut with that company in Trnava. From 1892 to 1894, he had a contract in Ljubljana, then he appeared in Pilsen/Plzeň and Prague for one season, then at the Theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna until 1901. When he had some song to sing in a play, he pleased, and so was more and more often used in operetta.

From 1898, he finally studied voice with the aim to switch to professional singing, which he did in 1901 at the Theater an der Wien (in Vienna). Next, he spent one season at the Vienna Carltheater, then went to Brno/Brünn (1902–04), where he started to sing also opera (Don José for instance). The 1904/05 season was spent in Hamburg (Carl-Schultze-Theater), then the Berlin Krolloper hired him (1905–08, Hoffmann, Gérald, Jeník, Cavaradossi).

Then he went back to operetta, in Berlin (Metropoltheater, Neues Operettentheater, Theater am Nollendorfplatz) until 1913, then his participation in the world premiere of Nedbal's operetta Polenblut at the Carltheater in Vienna marked his return to his native city, where he sang at all the (then numerous) operetta theaters: Bürgertheater, Theater an der Wien, Carltheater, Stadttheater, Komödienhaus, Ronacher, Modernes Theater, Volksoper). After the war, he made guest appearances in operetta throughout the Austrian and Czech provinces, but also in Amsterdam and even at the Berlin Staatsoper. In 1922/23, he was the singing impresario of the theater in Ostrava. He sang on stage and on the radio until his death.

Reference 1; reference 2; reference 3: Kutsch & Riemens
Picture source: Theatermuseum Wien

Carl Pfann singsLes contes d'Hoffmann: Wohlan, nur Mut und Vertrauen

Carl Pfann singsOrphée aux enfers: Hört, Aristeus bin ich

Carl Pfann singsPolenblut: Solang's noch solche Frauen gibt

Many thanks to Anton Bieber for the recordings and label scans.

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