Ludwig Suthaus

12 December 1906 Cologne – 7 September 1971 Berlin

Picture of Ludwig Suthaus

Ludwig Suthaus singsDas Rheingold: Immer ist Undank Loges Lohn
In RA format

Ludwig Suthaus sings Die Walküre: Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond
In RA format
He studied voice at the Cologne academy of music, first as a baritone, soon as a tenor. Having started his studies very early, at age 16, he made his debut already in 1926 in Aachen (as Walther von Stolzing). He stayed in Aachen for five years; 1931/32 in Essen, 1932–41 at the Stuttgart Staatsoper (debut role: Rodolfo). In 1940, he was Federico in the German premiere of L'Arlesiana. But primarily, he focused on the Wagner repertory. Wilhelm Furtwängler much supported him. In 1938, he sang his first Tannhäuser and Tristan (his most famous part, he was to sing it more than 230 times), and was a guest at the Vienna Staatsoper for the first time.

The Stuttgart opera cancelled his contract in 1941, regarding him as "politically unacceptable" since he refused to become a member of the Nazi party. Luckily for Suthaus, the Berlin Staatsoper had no similar objections, and hired him in 1942 (he stayed until 1950, and sang in the German premiere of Sadko, 1947). In 1943, he made his Bayreuth debut as Stolzing (he would be back in 1956 and 1957 as Loge and Siegmund).

1949–65, he was based at the Städtische Oper Berlin, while making an international career: at the Vienna Staatsoper, he was a regular member from 1957, plus he made guest appearances all over Europe: La Scala, Théâtre de la Monnaie, Covent Garden, Munich, Hamburg, Marseille, Paris Opéra, Moscow – and, his only American appearance, San Francisco (1953).

After a grave car accident in 1959, he recovered slowly. From 1961 to 1967, he was back on stage, but now in smaller parts (Ägisth, Tambourmajor).

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

I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recording (Rheingold).
I wish to thank Richard Boijen for the picture.

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