Nordal Brun

11 January 1857 Odense – 22 September 1906 Copenhagen

Nordal Brun singsDer var engang: Se natten er svanger med vellugt fin
His father was a theater director, his mother and his older brother Frederik opera singers, but he worked in a trade office in Copenhagen first – before following the family tradition and joining the theater. He made his debut at the Copenhagen Casino Theater on 28 October 1878 in operetta. He stayed at that theater until 1881, then he spent one year in the Danish provinces, and two at the Dagmarteatret, a low-class operetta venue in Copenhagen. 1885/86, Brun was in Stuttgart, 1887/88 in Köln, where he made considerable progress as a singer.

Back to Copenhagen, he was engaged by the Royal Opera, and made his debut there as Manrico on 12 January 1889. He stayed for ten years, singing Don Ottavio, Roméo, Fra Diavolo, Robert le diable, Erik, Rane (in Drot og Marsk by Heise), Arnold, Georges Brown and – his most important success – Canio. His voice, technique and musicality were considered first rate, but he was a less than thrilling interpreter (obviously with the exception of his "moving" Canio), and had a difficult relationship with the Copenhagen audience.

He was at the Royal Opera until 1899; after that, he continued his career for a short time at the Copenhagen Folketeatret and made guest appearances in Stockholm and Berlin, then he gave up singing (so his records were made when he was already retired). A few years later, he fell seriously ill and died, not even 50 years old.

Reference 1; reference 2: Francis Zachariae, Den danske Skueplads' historie fra dens oprindlse i 1722 til 1900, Copenhagen 1917
Picture source
Source for the recording


Dansk Fonograf Magasin, 1901?
100503 Flyv fugl, flyv (Hartmann)					503
100504 Lille Karen (Heise)						504
100509 Min Sol (= 'O sole mio) (Di Capua)				509
100511 Der var engang (Lange-Müller): Se natten er svanger		511
100512 Heksen (Enna): Edzars arie                              		512
100513 Liden Kirsten (Hartmann): Narrens sang                     	513
100514 Drot og Marsk (Heise): Ranes aang                       		514
100518 Carmen (Bizet): Blomsterarien                           		518
100520 Venetiansk Serenade (Johan Svendsen)                            	520
100523 Postillon de Lonjumeau (Adam): Postillonvisen      		523
100526 Mit hjerte og min lyre (Kjerulf)					526
100909 Du gamla, du fria (composer unknown)				909
Sources: Danmarks Elektroniske Forskningsbibliotek; Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger, Wien

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