Robert Philipp was an actor in Berlin from 1870, for twelve years. In 1882, he started singing operetta, and toured
Russia with Hasse's operetta company. Back to Berlin, he sang at various operetta theaters.
But the director of the Berlin Hofoper, Count Hochberg, wanted him to sing opera. He made him try José at the Hofoper in
1890; it was successful, and Hochberg engaged him at once. Philipp would stay for 40 years.
He sang lyrical and (particularly towards the end of his incredibly long career) comprimario roles: Faust, Fra Diavolo, Wilhelm
Meister, Tamino, Don Ottavio, Tonio (La fille du régiment). He participated in a lot of
world premieres, among them: Der Evangelimann by Kienzl (4 May 1895, Philipp sang the comprimario part of Hans), Der Roland von
Berlin by Leoncavallo (15 December 1904) and Die Heirat wider Willen by Humperdinck (14 April 1905). He made guest appearances in
Gotha, Weimar, Munich, Frankfurt, Schwerin, Dresden, Wiesbaden, St. Petersburg and Moscow, but it was in Berlin that he was
Reference 1: Kutsch & Riemens; reference 2 and
picture source (a good website on Philipp, with many great pictures, and you can download a lot of recordings)