Anton van Rooy

“ ... noble, heart-rending pathos, deeply moving in its utterance of the agony of the soul which he bears ...” and the “ ... poignancy of the pain under which he suffers ... ”
One New York critic praised his portrayal of the suffering Amfortas

“…it was not until [van Rooy] was twenty-seven that he made his operatic début. This was at the direct instigation of Cosima Wagner; at the Bayreuth Festival of 1897 he sang Wotan in the Ring cycle and created a furor. He soon established himself as one of the greatest artists of his day and returned to Bayreuth regularly….”


Anton van Rooy, bas-bariton

Anton (Antoon) van Rooy - in full Antonius Maria Josephus - was born in Rotterdam on the 1st January 1870 and died in Munich on the 28th November 1932. He studied with the famous baritone and teacher Julyus Stockhausen who was himself a pupil of Manuel Garcia.

He started as oratorio and concert artist and was heard by Cosima Wagner who invited him to sing at Bayreuth, where he made his stage debut as Wotan in 1897. His commanding appearance and his beautiful upper register created an immediate impression. In Bayreuth Van Rooy sang Wotan (Der Ring) in 1897, 1899, 1901 and 1902. Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger) in 1899 en Holländer (Der fliegende Holländer) in 1901. He made his debut at Covent Garden on the 11th May 1898 and sang there regularly until 1913.

He again chose Wotan in "Rheingold" for his first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera New York on the 14 december 1898, a role he sang fifty times during his nine seasons there until 1908. His appearances as Amfortas in the Met's 1903 Parsifal resulted in his being banned from further appearances in Bayreuth.

During 1902-03 at the Metropolitan, he sang Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Kurvenal in Tristan, all three Wotans, Telramund, and Sachs. For twenty-four performances he was paid $15,075.83. In addition to his Wagnerian roles, he also sang at the house Don Fernando in Fidelio, King Solomon in Die Königin von Saba, and Jokanaan in the American premiere of Salome.

Anton van Rooy als Wotan, Bayreuth

 Anton van Rooy as Wotan, Bayreuth

Anton van Rooy, vml. als Hans Sachs, bij de 'Wagnervereeniging'

Anton van Rooy as Hans Sachs

His voice was one of tremendous power, beauty and authority and he was considered the finest exponent of such roles as Hans Sachs (Meistersinger), Holländer (Der fliegende Holländer), Wotan (Ring) and Kurvenal (Tristan und Isolde) during the first decade of this century. He was prodigal in the outpouring of his huge voice and this no doubt was the reason that by 1908, when he made his last records, he was showing signs of vocal wear.
His final appearance at Covent Garden in 1913 showed him in serious decline.

His 1902 recordings give some idea of him in his prime and are precious souvenirs. As P. G. Hurst wrote, "The dignity of his presence and the immense power of his voice, together with the majestic breadth of his interpretations, will long be remembered by those who heard him".

Wagners Walküre: "Wotans Abschied", recording 1902

Discography (incomplete):    
Titel, opera Label, matrix Rec. place/date 
Tannhäuser, Der Sängerkrieg ... Blick ich umher G&T 2-2715, mx 1947G London, June 1902
Tannhäuser, Als du in kühnem Sange ... Gramo 042166, mx 2497f   London, June/July 1908
Tannhäuser,  Blick ich umher in diesem edlen Kreise Gramo 042165, mx 2496f London, June/July 1908
Tannhäuser, Wie Todesahnung Dämm'rung deckt ... Gramo 042167, mx 2498f London, June/July 1908
Tannhäuser, Wie Todesahnung ... Edison cylinder, GM OBL (?)
Fliegende Hollander, Nur eine Hoffnung soll mir ... Edison cylinder B29, mx B29 New York, March 1906
Lohengrin, Viel lieber todt, als feig! Mapleson cylinder, band 3  New York, Febr. 1903 
Lohengrin, Gott richte mich nach Recht und Fug Mapleson cylinder, band 4  New York, Febr. 1903 
Lohengrin, Kerk scène, Vertraue mir! Lass dir ... Mapleson cylinder, band 7  New York, Febr. 1903
Die Walküre, Dass jene sich lieben, leuchtet dir hell Mapleson cylinder, band 4  New York, Jan. 1903 
Die Walküre, Wer meines Speeres Spitze furchtet Mapleson cylinder, band 10 New York, Febr. 1902 
Meistersinger, Jerum!Jerum! Hallo-hallo-he!  G&T 2-2716, mx 1946G London, June 1902
Das Rheingold, Abendlicht strahlt der Sonne  Gramo 042168, mx 2499f  London, June/ July 1908
Das Rheingold, finale, Abendlicht strahlt der Sonne G&T 2-2701, mx 2010R  London, June 1902 
Das Rheingold, Vollendet das ewige Werk G&T 2-2714 London, June 1902
Die Walküre, Leb' wohl du kühnes herrliches kind G&T 2-2685, mx 1945G  London, June 1902
Phyllis und die Mutter Columbia A5000, mx 30097  1907 
Les Rameaux (The palms), Faurée  Columbia A5001, mx 30109  1907
Die beiden Grenadiere, Schumann  Columbia A5015, 30029-1 1906, (1907?)
Das Muhlrad, volkslied  Columbia A5017, mx 30028  1906 
Das Mühlrad, volkslied G&T 2-2700, mx 2012FG London, June 1902
Der Asra, Rubinstein Columbia A5074, mx 30165  1908 
Am Meer, Schubert Columbia A5074, mx 30164  1908
Der Lindenbaum, Schubert Columbia A5087, mx 30131  1908 
Wanderlied, Schumann Columbia A5087, mx 30167  1908 

The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

Lohengrin, Telramund,

Band 3

Act I: Combat preparation excerpt: "Ist's Zauber, der mir angethan?" ... "Nun, König, ordne unsern Kampf!"

Georg Anthes (t), Lohengrin, Anton Van Rooy (b), Telramund

Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra--, Alfred Hertz, February 7, 1903

Band 4

Act I: King's Prayer excerpt : "Gott richte mich nach Recht und Fug!" ... "So hilf uns, [Gott, zu dieser Frist]"

Georg Anthes (t), Lohengrin, Anton Van Rooy (b), Telramund, Robert Blass (bs), King

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--Alfred Hertz

Band 7

Act II: Minster Scene excerpts:

(a) "[El]sa, Elsa! wie seh' ich sie erbeben" ... "in deiner Treu' liegt alles [Glückes Pfand!]"

(b) "Mein Held, in dem ich muss vergehn!" ... "Heil dir, [Tugendreiche]"

(c) "[Heil] dir, Heil Elsa von Brabant" end of act

Johanna Gadski (s), Elsa, Georg Anthes (t), Lohengrin, Anton Van Rooy (b), Telramund

Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orchestra--Alfred Hertz

February 7, 1903

Die Walküre, Wotan

Band 4

Act II: Brünnhilde's Battle Cry and Wotan-Fricka scene excerpts :

(a) "[Hojotoho!] hojotoho! heiaha!" ... "hojoho!"

(b) "lieb ich auch muthiger Männer Schlacht" ... "heiaha ha!"

(c) "[soll süsse Lust] deinen Segen dir lohnen" ... "So ist es denn aus"

Lillian Nordica (s), Brünnhilde, Ernestine Schumann-Heink (a), Fricka, Anton Van Rooy (b), Wotan

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--Alfred Hertz

January 16, 1903 (?)

Band 10

Act III: Magic Fire Music excerpt : "durchschreite das Feuer nie"...almost to end of opera

Anton Van Rooy (b), Wotan, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--, Walter Damrosch

February 11 or February 27 (matinee). 1902

[Glackens 3: "Van Rooy probably...Feb. 1902." Van Rooy sang all three Wotans that season; these are the two February dates.] February 7, 1903

Sources, o.a.:

De zangkunst en haare sterren, Anton Averkamp

Geheel in de geest van Wagner, Henk Suèr en Josine Meurs

Gustav Mahler, Erinnerungen und Briefe, Alma Mahler

Unvergängliche Stimmen, Kutsch/ Riemens

The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes