Arturs Vanags

24 April 1908 Mētriena – 1982 Riga

Arturs Vanags sings Es uzkāpu kalniņā (folk song), with Vera Davidone

The son of farmers, he went to Riga in 1927 to study mathematics. But somehow, he never finished his studies; in 1933, he started to sing in the opera choir as an amateur, and to train his voice with Rudolfs Bērziņš. In 1939, he was promoted to soloist at the Riga opera theater; his debut role was Tamino.

He was to spend his entire career, until 1964, at that theater, singing some 50 roles, the most successful being Almaviva, Alfredo, Lenskij and Sinodal. Besides that, he sang lots of concerts (800 all over Latvia), and was extremely popular and busy on the Latvian radio, with about 600 radio concerts in the course of his career.

On record, he sang exclusively Latvian folk and art songs. In the archives of the Latvian radio, there are operatic recordings by Vanags, but they have alas not been published.

By the way, for lack of any Latvian language skills, I have no idea why Vanags is the only Arturs far and wide who has no bar on his u (Artūrs, cf. Frinbergs or Cavara). He just doesn't have one.

Reference: Kutsch & Riemens
Picture source
Source for the recording: National Library of Latvia

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