Herbert Handt

born 26 May 1926 Philadelphia

Herbert Handt sings Don Giovanni: Il mio tesoro
In RA format
Tenor and conductor, specializing in baroque and contemporary music, plus Mozart, Haydn and the belcanto repertory.

A cousin of conductor Otto Ackermann, he studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York (where he sang in the NBC radio choir) and at the academy of music in Vienna with Julius Patzak for chant and Hans Swarowsky for conducting. He made his debut as a tenor soloist in 1949 at the Vienna Staatsoper, and sang successfully in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and particularly in Italy, where he lived (first in Rome, later in Lucca). Other than in opera, he sang a lot in oratorio.

From 1960, he appeared also as a conductor, and had his own vocal-instrumental ensemble in Rome, with which he performed long-forgotten rarities, not only concert music but also operas by Boccherini, Rossini or Geminiani. In the 1970s, he was head of the Opera School at the Lyric Opera Chicago, and for a time, he directed the operatic seasons at the Teatro del Giglio in his adopted home town Lucca, where he also founded two music festivals and a chamber orchestra. In spite of all that activity, he continued to sing opera, also unrelated to his own ensemble, into the 1980s.

Reference 1: Bach Cantatas, reference 2: Kutsch & Riemens, reference 3

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