Joseph Tijssen

26 March 1873 Roermond – 10 August 1923 Kleve

Picture of Joseph  Tijssen
Joseph (also Jos) Tijssen studied piano, violin and organ in his native Roermond (partly with his elder brother Henri, a composer and conductor), then piano and composition at the Brussels conservatory. He became répetiteur and second conductor at the Hollandsche Opera-Gezelschap in Amsterdam, and subsequently at that company's successor, De Nederlandsche Opera. His wife, the soprano Anna Tijssen-Bremerkamp, discovered his tenor voice, so he took singing lessons with Cornelie van Zanten. He made his debut stepping in on short notice as the Evangelist in Bach's Matthäuspassion in Leiden in 1890, then he made also his operatic debut at the opera company where he conducted, in a comprimario role in Guillaume Tell (11 October 1890).

He stayed with that company until 1903, as a répetiteur and conductor, as a singer and as a libretto translator. He gradually advanced from singing small parts to a heldentenor: Frédéric (Lakmé), Walther von der Vogelweid, Raoul, Faust, Roméo, Wilhelm Meister, Jean, Stolzing, Rodolfo, Florestan, Lohengrin, Don José; he also sang in Dutch operas: Benno (Het meilief van Gulpen by Bouman), Nathos (Darthula by Simon van Milligen), Floris (Floris V by Richard Hol). In 1906 in Den Haag, he created Jos Orelio in the secular oratorio Lioba by Daniël de Lange.

For the 1902/03 season, he was in Frankfurt as a heldentenor, 1903–05 in Hamburg, 1905–11 in Frankfurt again, 1911/12 in Kiel, 1912–15 in Frankfurt, then he returned to the Netherlands. Guest appearances: Bayreuth Festival (Walther von der Vogelweide, 1904), Dresden, Munich, Rotterdam, Wiesbaden. Further roles: Manrico, Siegmund, Tannhäuser, Tristan.

He sang until 1918, then he settled in Germany again and taught voice. When some young rioters gathered in front of his house, he went out to tell them to stop troubling the neighbourhood; they stabbed him, and he died.

Joseph Tijssen sings Faust: O gib junges Blut, with Max Lohfing
In RA format

Grammophon, Hamburg, April 1904
1819L	Die Walküre (Wagner): Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond		2-42846
1820L	Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner): Fanget an		2-42869
1834L	Si tu veux, Mignonne (Massenet)					3-32175
1835L	Vorbei (Koschat)						2-42858
1836L	Das Zauberlied (Meyer-Helmund)					2-42859
1866L	Faust (Gounod): O gib junges Blut (w. Lohfing)			44283
187m	Martha (Flotow): Ja, seit früher Kindheit Tagen (w. Lohfing)	044041
Reference 1: Dutch Divas; reference 2: Kutsch & Riemens
Source for the discography: Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger, Wien

Picture source

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