Hans Polte

Polte was born in 1853 in Berlin. He made his debut in 1879 as lyrical and buffo tenor at the Krolloper. After seasons in Prague, Barmen and Kiel, Polte in 1852 arrived in Metz as a heldentenor. Further seasons took him to Genève, Dortmund and Neustrelitz. In 1886, Polte was not successful at being hired in Dessau (an important theater for the Wagner repertory). In 1887, he managed to get a three years contract in Stettin. In 1890, he returned to Metz for three years, then to Neustrelitz for another three. He had a good reputation as Lohengrin and Tannhäuser.

He was married to a coloratura soprano, and his daughter became an opera and operetta soubrette. So Polte adapted his repertory to the gifts of his family. With his wife Ida and daughter Mia, he founded a touring opera company in 1898, whose manager was his son Hermann. In 1901, Polte became director of the "Subsidized Municipal Theater of Schleswig and Wismar, in association with connections to Rendsburg, Arendsee, Brunshaupten and Heiligendamm". Polte had given up on his ambitions of being a Wagnerian tenor. However, he had enough voice left to celebrate his 30th stage jubilee by singing Manrico on October 4th, 1909. Polte died on April 10th, 1910 in Schleswig.

Source: Einhard Luther, So viel der Helden. Biographie eines Stimmfaches, Teil 3: Wagnertenöre der Kaiserzeit (1871–1918), Berlin 2006

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