Richard Tauber(Richard Tauber-Denemy)

Richard Tauber, Komponist
The tenor Richard Tauber circa 1926
Photographer: Hugo Erfurth, NORDICO Stadtmuseum Linz, photo by: Thomas Hackl, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014

Richard Tauber(Richard Tauber-Denemy)

Bornon 16 May 1891 in Linz, Austia
Diedon 8 January 1948 in London, Britain (United Kingdom)
ExileAustria, Great Britain (United Kingdom)
ProfessionSinger, Conductor, Composer

On 9 March 1933, four days after the Reichstag elections, the performance by singer Richard Tauber in Berlin’s Admiralspalast theatre was disrupted by ante-Semitic heckling. The star tenor, who was Jewish from his father’s side, only sang in German and had become famous performing operettas by Franz Léhar. Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (My Heart is All Yours) was one of Tauber’s most popular songs.

He was initially able to continue his career in Vienna, yet undertook some failed attempts to return to Germany. The singer Tauber was so engaged with his art that he sometimes lacked a clear view of the political realities and failed to recognise the dangers he faced as a Jewish artist. This is backed up by people who knew him well and his biographers. In a letter to the Reich Ministry of the Interior, Tauber aimed to convince the Nazi powers that be of his regime-friendly stance, asking conductor Wilhelm to stand up for him.

While filming a musical, Tauber met his second wife in London, the English actress Diana Napier. They married in 1936 and he moved to London. In March 1938, at the time of Austria’s annexation, he was on tour in Italy and became stateless. He decided to apply for British citizenship and received it in 1940.

Richard Tauber, by now seriously ill, gave his last singing performance in the role of Don Octavio in Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni on 27 September 1947 in Covent Garden. He died on 8 January 1948 in London.

Further reading:
Jürgs, Michael: Gern hab’ ich die Frauen geküßt. Die Richard-Tauber-Biographie. München: List Verlag 2000
Schneidereit, Otto: Richard Tauber. Ein Leben – Eine Stimme. Berlin: Parthas Verlag 2000
Steinthaler, Elisabeth: Morgen muß ich fort von hier. Richard Tauber – Die Emigration eines Weltstars. Wien: Milena Verlag 2011