The History of The Tenor Narrated

The History of Herman Jadlowker

Herman Jadlowker

Born: July 17, 1877, Riga
Died: May 13, 1953, Tel Aviv-Jafo
Latvian-born tenor of Russian (later Israeli) nationality tenor.

In order to escape from a commercial career into which his father wished to force him, he ran away from home as a lad of 15.
He journeyed to Vienna, where he studied classical singing with Josef Gänsbacher. In 1899 (some sources say 1897), he made his operatic début at Cologne in Kreutzer’s Nachtlager von Granada. He then secured engagements in Stettin and Karlsruhe. Here the German Emperor William (Kaiser Wilhelm II) heard him and was so impressed that he offered him a five-year contract at the Royal Opera in Berlin. Apart from Berlin, Jadlowker sang also in Stuttgart, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Vienna, Lemberg, Prague, Budapest and Boston during the course of his career.

In 1910-12, Jadlowker appeared at the New York Metropolitan Opera House, where he proved to be one of the company’s most versatile artists although his performances were overshadowed by those of Enrico Caruso. He returned to Europe prior to the outbreak of World War I and continued his operatic career in a number of German cities. During the 1920s, Jadlowker sang increasingly on the concert platform and, in 1929, he was chosen to be chief cantor at the Riga synagogue. Jadlowker subsequently became a voice teacher at the Riga Conservatory before emigrating to Palestine with his wife in 1938. He taught in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, dying in the latter city at the age of 75.

Jadlowker possessed a dark-hued, lyric-dramatic tenor voice of extraordinary flexibility. His agile vocal technique enabled him to sing runs, trills and other coloratura embellishments with ease and accuracy. He made a large number of records in Europe and America across a 20-year period, commencing in 1907.

Many of these recordings, which include arias by composers as diverse as Mozart, Auber, Verdi, Rossini and Wagner, can be heard on CD reissues.