Pauls Sakss

1 (14) January 1878 Jaunpils – 31 March 1966 New York City

Pauls Sakss sings La traviata: Parigi, o cara, with Ada Benefelde in Latvian

His name was also written Paul Zakss at times.

He started singing at the age of 9 in a boys' choir. His professional debut took place in a concert in Riga in 1902. He studied both voice and agronomy, graduating in voice in 1909 (after studies with, among others, Antonio Cotogni in Rome), and in agronomy in 1911.

He was always primarily a concert tenor, although he sang opera for a few years, primarily at the Zimin Opera in Moscow, and in Riga, where he was Lenskij in the very first performance of the Riga opera theater on December 27th, 1912 (January 9th, 1913). In Riga, he sang also Alfredo, Turiddu and Sinodal, later Ottavio and Walther von der Vogelweide. From 1929 onwards, he was successful in operetta both at the Daile Theater in Riga and in Liepāja; he sang Franz Schubert in Dreimäderlhaus 263 times.

But primarily, he was an important voice teacher at the Riga conservatory (1919–1944).

When the Nazis had to withdraw from Latvia in 1944 and the Soviets occupied the country definitely, he fled to Germany; in 1950, he went to the USA. Both in Germany and in New York City, he continued to work as a voice teacher.

Reference and picture source
Recording source: National Library of Latvia

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