Jaan Haabjärv

13 June 1914 Karula – 6 February 1946 Tallinn

Jaan Haabjärv sings Werther: Pourquoi me réveiller, in Estonian

Jaan Haabjärv sings Roméo et Juliette: Ah lêve-toi, soleil, in Estonian

Born in southern Estonia, he grew up on a farm. His father was Latvian, his real name was Jaan Voldemar Behrsin. He started singing in the choir of the Tallinn opera theater in 1938, while studying voice at the Tallinn conservatory (from 1937 to 1939 with Arno Niitof, and again from 1945 with Tiit Kuusik). In 1943, he was promoted to soloist; this left him less than three years for singing Levko, Lenskij, Sinodal, Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, Rodolfo, Almaviva, and a few minor roles.

The only comment available online on his untimely death comes originally from an Estonian newspaper article and was also copied on Wikipedia. It's either too poetic to be really comprehensible, or overstressing the skills of Google Translate, or both; so I may be wrong, but I understand it as a hint that he committed suicide.

He left very few recordings, the two presented here obviously being the sole operatic ones.

Reference 1 and picture source, Reference 2

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