Alfred Goltz

Alfred Goltz was born on December 13th, 1877 in Emmendingen. He was born Goldschmidt and shortened his name to sing in public.

He started in 1899 in Nürnberg as a baritone. He sang as such for five years in Regensburg, Koblenz, Rostock and Basel. In Basel, his colleague Fritz Heuckeshoven pointed out that he was a tenor. During his next season in Mulhouse, he studied the role of Lohengrin. He had great success when he sang the part as a guest in Leipzig, where he immediately got a contract (1905). He further studied singing there and chose Urlus, first tenor in Leipzig, as his guiding star. In 1908, he replaced Bolz in Stuttgart, but stayed only until 1910: he went to Coburg, where he was (other than in Stuttgart) the only heldentenor.

With a baritonal voice and imposing stage presence, he was predestined to be a Wagnerian tenor. But he had difficulties learning parts. He needed more time than he was allowed by the rapidly changing repertory; a tenor was supposed to learn at least twelve parts a year. However, with the parts he knew, he had good success.

After two years in Coburg, he moved to the newly founded Deutsche Oper Berlin, where director Georg Hartmann was impressed by him. As the house had no repertory yet, plenty of rehearsal time was available, plus there were three other heldentenors besides Goltz, so his limited repertory was not a problem. On January 11th, 1913, he took part in the house premiere of Wieland der Schmied (composer: Kurt Hösel), and in 1914 sang Parsifal.

On December 7th, 1916 he sang Siegfried in Weimar and was thought to be the successor of Heinrich Zeller, who was retiring. But he was drafted; during a leave from the front, he returned to Weimar for Tristan (June 1918). This time, he got a contract for the 1919/20 season. When he came to Weimar in Otober 1919, he was met with aloofness; the theater was obviously trying to contract out of the agreement, and antisemitic resentment (Goltz was Jewish) seems to have played an important part in it. He was offered another audition, which he justly declined. After singing Tannhäuser in December, the management declared his success with the audience insufficient, and since there was a clause that his contract would be valid only if he was successful, director Ernst Hardt fired him.

From then on he lived in Berlin as a freelance artist. His name disappeared from theater chronicles in the mid-1920s.

He lived into Nazi times since there is an official document from 1938 prohibiting his acceptance into the Reichsmusikkammer (the professional body of the German musicians, off-limits for all Jews), but whether or not he survived the shoah is not known.

Alfred Goltz sings Der fliegende Holländer: Mit Gewitter und Sturm


Homocord, Berlin, 9 November 1907
1163	Lustige Witwe (Lehár): Da geh' ich zu Maxim			1163

Homocord, Berlin, 29 November 1907
1823	Lieb' mich, und die Welt ist mein (Ball)			1823, B864
1825	Evangelimann (Kienzl): Selig sind, die Verfolgung leiden	1825, B843
1826	Fliegender Holländer (Wagner): Mit Gewitter und Sturm		1826, B843

Odeon, Berlin, September 1910
xB4953	Walküre (Wagner): Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond		X51651
xB4954	Lohengrin (Wagner): Atmest du nicht				X25401
Reference 1 and picture source: Einhard Luther, So viel der Helden. Biographie eines Stimmfaches, Teil 3: Wagnertenöre der Kaiserzeit (1871–1918), Berlin 2006
Reference 2
Discography source: Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger, Wien

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