Stefan Schwer

30 October 1902 Düren – 12 January 1990 Düren

Stefan Schwer sings Halka: Heut' ist Sonntag
He studied voice in Cologne and made his debut in 1928 in Essen, where he stayed for two years. After one year of further studies in Berlin, he became a member of the Stadttheater Harburg, then in 1932 of the Stadttheater Hamburg (the later Staatsoper Hamburg), till 1939. In Hamburg, he sang mostly comprimario parts, with occasional ventures into Alfredo or Pinkerton, for example. From 1939 to 1949, he was first heldentenor in Kassel, then in Stuttgart till 1955 (but he still sang there, as a guest, as late as 1978), where he went back into the comprimario repertory.

There are almost no recordings of his voice, and none in any leading part. I'm convinced that the "HMV duets with Martina Wulf" that Kutsch and Riemens mention (an information that everybody has copied from them) are just a mistake; they are nowhere to be found, Martina Wulf was another scarcely recorded singer, and Kutsch and Riemens themselves don't mention those alleged duets in their Martina Wulf entry. So the above selection must be his only 78rpm, and it reveals a clearly above-average comprimario. However, when returning to the same repertory in Stuttgart, he had a sharp, nagging voice, and a positively frightening wobble by 1957 (as evidenced by a complete live recording of Schoeck's Penthesilea. He was admittedly no more young then, but his heldentenor efforts probably didn't do him good, either.

Source for the top picture, source for the second picture

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