Aarne Viisimaa

25 November 1898 Sangaste – 2 December 1989 Stockholm

Aarne Viisimaa sings Sadko: Ne schest almazov v kamennykh pishcherakh (Song of the Indian Guest), in Estonian
with a very creative orchestral accompaniment that would have startled Rimskij-Korsakov

His real name, which he used until 1935, was Arnold-Peeter Vismann. After school, he studied economy in Tartu, and as a student job, he sang at the Vanemuine Theater as a chorister. Soon, he got a soloist contract as an actor and operetta singer. While he tried to pursue his economic studies, he simply had not enough time for them, and quit them after seven years in 1924. Now, he finally decided to study voice, which he did in Tartu, Tallinn, Germany, Austria and Hungary, while continuing to work at the Vanemuine as a singer and stage director.

From 1927 to 1944, he was a soloist – now almost exclusively in opera – in Tallinn, where he sang Manrico, Wilhelm Meister, Almaviva, Faust, Tamino, Alfredo, Duca, Roméo, Lenskij, Prince, Shujskij, Vašek, Jontek or Ernesto. He also continued to work as a stage director. If you read on the internet that he was director of the Tallinn opera theater, that's bullshit (a mistake resulting from machine translation of Estonian websites – he was a stage director, but never a theater director).

He fled to Finland from the Soviets in 1944, then went to Sweden a year later, where he still gave concerts, but otherwise worked as an office clerk, and studied theology.

Reference and picture source

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