Staudigl, Joseph



Noted Austrian bass singer, who was born at Wollersdorf, Lower Austria; the son of an imperial huntsman. According to some authorities, Staudigl entered the Benedictine monastery in 1825 at Melk, to become a monk, but gave up his studies there to study surgery. Finding himself possessed of a beautiful voice he decided to study to become a singer and was first a chorister in the Karnthnerthor Theatre at Vienna, then chorister in the Court Chapel in 1831. He sang at all the principal concerts in Vienna as leading basso, and went to England, where he created the part of Elijah in Mendelssohn's Elijah. He attained great popularity, being noted for his splendid interpretation of oratorio and of church-music, and of the songs of Schubert. He made his last appearance in public in 1856, taking part in the oratorio, St. Paul, at the Tonkünstler Societat. He was finally dismissed from the Court Theatre at Vienna and it embittered his whole life. He became insane and died in an asylum, near Vienna. His son Joseph, born in 1850, was a pupil of Rokitansky at the Vienna Conservatory, and was chamber-singer to the Grand Duke of Carlsruhe, and a member of the Court Opera. He had a fine barytone voice. Staudigl the younger was in the cast of Die Meistersinger when it was produced for the first time in America, Jan. 4, 1886, under the baton of Anton Seidl.