Cornelis Bronsgeest

Cornelis Bronsgeest - (1878-1957)

Cornelis Bronsgeest - (1878-1957)

The Dutch baritone Cornelis Bronsgeest was born in Leiden on July 24th 1878. At first he studied architecture, but after the discovery of his singing capabilities, he started with singing-studies. First in Berlin with Schulz-Dornburg and afterwards with Julius Stockhausen in Frankfurt. He made his opera debut in 1900 at the Stadttheater Magdeburg, where he stayed until 1903. From 1903 until 1906 he joined the Hamburger Stadtheater. In 1906, after a successful guest appearance at the Opera of Berlin as Amonasro in Verdi's Aïda, he was engaged immediately at this opera house. Already before the outbreak of the Great War Bronsgeest appeared regular in France, Holland and Belgium with a wide repertoire. In 1906 he made his Dutch opera debut as Count Almaviva in Mozart's Figaros Hochzeit (Le nozze di Figaro), a performance of the Wagnervereeniging (Wagner society). In 1914 he sang at the Drury Lane Theatre in London under Sir Thomas Beecham with the role of Papageno from Mozart's Zauberflöte. From 1919 to 1920 a tour followed through America. He also appeared at the prestigious Bayreuth Theatre, the Valhalla for Wagner adepts. In 1921 he sang at the N.V. Nationale Opera in Wagner's Götterdämmerung the role of Gunther, the tenor Urlus was Siegfried, Waltraute was sung by the contralto Maartje Offers - she sang also the first Norne - and Gutrune was interpreted by the soprano Greta Santhagens-Manders. His final appearance in the Netherlands was with a guest appearance at the Berlin Opera in Figaros Hochzeit on November 1923 in the Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen (Building for Art and Science) at The Hague.

Cornelis Bronsgeest als Renato in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera

Cornelis Bronsgeest as Renato in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera 

From 1924-1933 Bronsgeest was the director of the opera department of the Berlin Radio and founder of the Berliner Rundfunk Orchester and Rundfunk-Chor. The opera performances for the radio where adapted by him for this medium, he even adjusted the libretto. During the season 1923-1924 he was in Holland the director of the Gast-Opera (Guest Opera), a travelling company where prominents appeared as Anton Sistermans, Gemma Bellincioni, Frida Leider and Louis Morrisson and where he also sang self (Don Giovanni). To 1935 he sang in guest appearances at the Opera of Berlin. His job at the radio he already was forced to give up in 1933 for political reasons, but he stayed occupied as stage manager from 1933 to 1944 with the Berliner Theater der Jugend. He also provided simple opera performances for the German soldiers and he was the stage manager of an opera performance in 1944 at the Gemeentelijk Theater Bedrijf, afdeling Opera with a performance of Verdi's Don Carlos at the Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam. Well known names in this performance under direction of Johannes Den Hertog: Siemen Jongsma ( Philips II), don Carlos (Chris Reumer/ Jan van Mantgem), Rodrigo (Theo Baylé/ Otto Couperus), Elizabeth (Ruth Horna, Gerda Pons) and princess Eboli (Jo van de Meent). After World War II he provided in destroyed Berlin the first opera performances.

Cornelis Bronsgeest died on September 22th 1957 in Berlin.

He made records for the labels Tri-Ergon, Ultraphon, HMV and Parlophon. The oldest recording where on Odeon, from 1906-1907, also on Edison cylinder.

Renato in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera

Renato in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera

Nelusco in Meyerbeer's L'Africaine

Nelusco in Meyerbeer's L'Africaine

Gunther in Wagner's Götterdämmerung

Gunther in Wagner's Götterdämmerung

Cornelis Bronsgeest, bariton 

Cornelis Bronsgeest Cd1

Cornelis Bronsgeest, baritone - DDR 0708

01-Loewe, Archibald Douglas, Electrola EH 100, 1928

02-Pressel, An der Weser, Ultraphon 15438 Z-1

03-Heiser, Das Grab auf der Heide, Ultraphon 15162 Z

04-Loewe, Prinz Eugen, der edle Ritter, Electrola EH 131

05-Loewe, Fridericus Rex, Electrola EH 131

06-Loewe, Tom der Reimer, opus 135a, Tri-Ergon 5065, 1932

07-Leoncavallo, Prolog aus der Bajazzo, Parlophon P 319, 1911

08-Verdi, Der Troubadour, Ihres Auges himmlisch' Strahlen, Odeon 50387, 1907

09-Kreutzer, Das Nachtlager von Granada, Ein Schütz bin ich, Parlophon P 326, 1911

10-Gounod, Faust, Valentins Tod, Parlophon P 320, 1911

11-Gounod, Faust, Mephisto Serenade, Ned. gezongen, Gramophone H 62047

12-Gounod, Faust, Rondo van het gouden kalf, Ned. gezongen, Gramo. H 62047

13-Wagner, Tannhäuser, Blick ich umher, Parlophon P 317, 1911

14-Wagner, Tannhäuser, Lied an den Abendstern, Parlophon P 318, 1911

15-Götterdämmerung, Heil dir, Gunther! Brünnhild, die herste Frau, Odeon X50565, 1908

16-Wagner, Parsifal, Mein Vater, Victrola 7166-A, Berlin 1928

17-Wagner, Parsifal, Enthüllet der Gral, Victrola 7166-B, Berlin 1928 *)

17*) with Gotthelf Pistor (tenor), 16-17, conductor Karl Muck

Cornelis Bronsgeest Cd2

Cornelis Bronsgeest, baritone - DDR 0709

01-Don Giovanni, Ha, das Mahl ist schon bereitet, Parlophon P 389, 1911

02-Don Giovanni, O hochgeschätzte Statue, Parlophon P 705, 1911

03-Holländer, Wie aus der Ferne längst vergang'ner Zeit, Parlophon P 541/2, 1910

04-Holländer, Wie, Hört' ich recht ... Dem Vater stets, Parlophon P706/07, 1911

05-Troubadour, Ihres Auges himmlisch Strahlen, Odeon 50387, 1907

06-Troubadour, O dürfte ich es glauben, Odeon 50629, 1908

07-Aida, Zu dir führt mich ein ernster Grund Aida, Odeon 50673/564/569, 1908

08-Carmen, Euren Tost kann ich wohl erwidern, Odeon 50359, 1907

09-Götterdämmerung, Heil dir Günther! ... Brünnhild, die herste Frau, Odeon 50565, 1908

10-Parsifal, Wehe! Wehe mir der Qual!, Gramophone 044248/49, 1913

11-Cavalleria rusticana, Rosse stampfen, Odeon 50607, 1909

12-Cavalleria rusticana, Seid mir alle gegrüsst, Odeon 50606, 1909

13-Parsifal, Ja Weh' über mich! ... Enthüllet der Gral, HMV D 1542/44, 1928

1, 2 & 4 with Max Lohfing; 3) with Erna Denera; 7) with Frances Rose;

13) with Gotthelf Pistor, conductor Karl Muck


DD Records

order numbers cd's: DDR 0708 and DDR 0709

price per cd: Euro 14,95, per 2 cd's 24,95 (exclusive postage costs)