Albert Reiss

31 December 1870 – 20 June 1940 Nice

Picture of Albert Reiss

Albert Reiss sings Siegfried: Zwangvolle Plage
In RA format

He was originally an actor at various Berlin theaters, and in Strasbourg. Both Ernestine Schumann-Heink and Bernhard Pollini told him to study voice, and so he did (with Julius Lieban, among others).

Debut in Königsberg/Kaliningrad in 1897 (as Peter Iwanow in Zar und Zimmermann); 1898/99 in Poznań/Posen, 1899–1901 in Wiesbaden, 1901–19 at the Met in New York City, then he went back to Germany. He took two further permanent engagements before retiring, both in Berlin: Volksoper 1923–25, Deutsche Oper 1925–30.

He had a mansion in Nice (where he also spent his last years); on the outbreak of the First World War, he was there by chance, and since he was a German subject, the French authorities interned him. Met manager Giulio Gatti-Casazza intervened, and Reiss was allowed to return to New York. Different from other German singers, he was not banned from the Met roster in WWI; all in all, he sang 1084 performances at the Met. Throughout his career, he sang almost exclusively comprimario parts; Alfred in Fledermaus was one of his few main roles.

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