Poul Hansen

Picture of Paul Hansen

Born 3 April 1886 in København, he was originally a copper chaser, but soon began to study voice with Albert Hoeberg and Hermann Spiro. He made his debut at the Royal Opera in København on 10 May 1908 in the opera Liden Kirsten by Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann, in the tenor part of Sverkel. He stayed at that theater for five years, then he went to the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he germanized his first name to Paul. In Berlin, he undertook further studies with Lilli Lehmann, Luise Reuss-Belce and Richard Loewe. He specialized in Wagner (Lohengrin, Parsifal, Stolzing, Tannhäuser), but was also a renowned José.

In 1919, he changed register, and became a baritone; his major success was now Rigoletto. In 1921, he switched back to tenor, but to buffo and comprimario parts, this time.

Besides singing, he had a second, equally successful career as a film actor, working with prominent film directors and fellow actors – ironically, though, only as long as silent movies were made.

In 1925, he became stage director and deputy manager at the Gera theater, where he would occasionally still appear as a singer. From 1930 to 1932, he was drama actor and, again, stage director and deputy theater director in Münster.

When the Nazis took power in Germany, he returned to Denmark and worked as a voice teacher. From 1949, he lived and taught in Helsinki, where he died on 11 November 1967.

Reference: Wikipedia, The Discographer (a fantastic Danish website that has compiled an exhaustive and beautifully illustrated Poul Hansen discography and biography, which I'm copying here – of course, it's available on The Discographer, but you never know... I've seen too many great websites die and their contents get lost).

Poul Hansen singsIl trovatore: Dass noch einmal sie erschiene, with Emma Vilmar-Hansen (his wife)

Poul Hansen singsIl trovatore: In uns're Heimat, with Emma Vilmar-Hansen

Poul Hansen singsDie Fledermaus: Glücklich ist, wer vergisst, with Elisabeth van Endert

Many thanks to Anton Bieber for the recordings and label scans.

Go Home