Willy Treffner was born on July 5th, 1903, in Vracov/Moravia (now in the Czech Republic, then in the Austrian-Hungarian empire –
he was a German speaker, of course). He studied voice in Vienna and made his debut as Turiddu in 1928 in Plauen. From there,
he moved on, in consecutive order, to Dortmund, Bremen, Nürnberg, Hannover, and Frankfurt am Main.
In RA format
In 1938, he eventually became
a member of the Dresden Staatsoper, where he would stay for the entire war. After the heavy bombing of Dresden in early 1945
(all German theatres had already been closed for a year), he moved to Villach/Austria.
In 1946, he resumed his career in Graz,
but then had a grave car accident, which led to memory lapses that prevented him from further singing. He gave some performances
in operetta in Villach and Klagenfurt in 1947 and 1948, only to recognize that he had to quit the stage forever. 45 years old,
he decided to become a carpenter; like a teenager, he served his apprenticeship, and passed his journeyman examination at the
age of 48, in 1951, and actually worked as a carpenter for many years to follow. He died on January 25th, 1980.
I would like to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recording.