Niemann, Albert



Famous German tenor; born at Erxleben, Magdeburg. At the age of seventeen, in order to support himself, he went on the stage at Dessau, appearing in small parts and sometimes as a chorus singer. Friedrich Schneider, the Court chapelmaster, recognized the boy's talent and assisted him to gain a musical training. Nusch, the barytone, gave him lessons and later he went to Paris and studied under Duprez. He won further recognition by his appearances in small theatres, and was engaged at Berlin where he became immensely and deservedly popular both as an actor and singer, and was considered by t many as Germany's greatest tenor. His voice was magnificent and his appearance suitable for the impersonation of Wagner's heroes, in which he excelled. Wagner selected Niemann to play Siegmund at Bayreuth, in 1876. He came to America in 1886, but his voice then had begun to fail and as a singer he did not fulfil the expectations of the American public,. The next year he formally retired from the stage.