Anton de Ridder

Anton de Ridder

Anton de Ridder was born in Amsterdam, the 13th February 1929. Just as many other Dutch singers, in the Amsterdam quarter de Jordaan. In 1947 he started working as a diamond-polisher. While at work there was a lot of singing. There his voice attract for the first time attention and he got the advice to take singing lessons. His first lessons were got with Betsie de Vries and later with Herman Mulder. In this period Anton appeared already regularly, a.o. at the Tik-Tak Coffee, the Thea Revue and at Heck ( a restaurant) at the Rembrandplein, Amsterdam. In 1951 he continued his study at the Amsterdam Conservatory.

After his study - in 1956 - he joined the Opera of Karlsruhe. There he stayed for a period of forty years, until 1996. His voice developed meanwhile to a remarkable fine lyric tenor. For a conductor as Böhm he even was the first choice! Besides at the 'Opera van Karlsruhe' he sang as guest many times at other opera houses. a.o. at the opera's of Munich - during more as 25 years -, of Duisburg, of Leipzig, of Hamburg, of Berlin and of Vienna.

Also at the 'Bregenz Festival (1974, Don José, Carmen), the 'Bayreuth Festival' and at the 'Glyndebourne Festival' Anton de Ridder has sung. Together with an other Dutch tenor John van Kesteren he sang in Rameau's Platée and in Strauss' Fledermaus. He was married to a German singer, Gudrun Nierig. She died recently, 13 February 2005.

In the Netherlands he appeared also many times at De Nederlandse Operastichting. The first time on 13th February 1968 in the role of Gabriel von Eisenstein in Strauss' Fledermaus. His last appearance in the Netherlands was on 23th January 1992 in a performance of Verdi's La Traviata as Alfredo Germont. He shined in roles as Florestan (Fidelio), Ismaele (Nabucco), Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto), Bacchus and the tenor (Ariadne auf Naxos), Hoffmann (Hoffmann's Stories), the 'Italian tenor' (Rosenkavalier). As Florestan he sang on 12th February 1971 in the farewell performance of Gré Brouwenstein at the 'Amsterdamse Stadsschouwburg'. Rocco was Arnold van Mill.

The past years Anton de Ridder has withdrawn himself from the singing world. He lived in Dettenheim, Germany, was an active member of the local singing community and was with his experience of great benefit to them. On 5 May 2005 Anton re-married, a marriage with unfortunately only a short life. On 9 July 2006 he died - rather unexpected - in his home town, Dettenheim at the age of 77.

Thanks to Henk Binnekade - nephew of Anton de Ridder - for gained information.

Anton de Ridder
Anton de Ridder

Fortunate there exists of Anton de Ridder 'relative' many recordings. Most of them available at Amazon Germany: (numerous sound examples!)

1. Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor  with Anton de Ridder, Karola Agai, a.o.
recording 1970  Audio CD (CD-number: 1)
Label: Ccc (EDEL)
ASIN: B0000260MT
Conductor: Giuseppe Patane
Performers: Karola Agai (soprano), Ingeborg Springer (alto), Eberhard Büchner (tenor), Anton de Ridder (tenor), Harald Neukirch (tenor), Günther Leib (baritone), Siegfried Vogel (bass), Choir of the 'Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin', Staatskapelle Dresden.


Ist eine einzigartige Aufnahme mit Anton de Ridder, 2. Oktober 2001
Rezensentin/Rezensent: Wolfgang Walter aus Ludwigshafen/Deutschland
Es gibt für mich kaum eine schönere Oper als Lucia di Lammermoor mit einem der besten Tenöre. Diese Aufnahme müßte man einem Millionenpublikum zugänglich machen. Wer diese Aufnahme nicht kennt, hat viel verpaßt.

Unfortunately I can't share the enthusiasm of Wolfgang completely, besides for the fact that Lucia di Lammermoor is one of the most beautiful opera's. Apart from Anton de Ridder the quality of the protagonists is rather average. Alone the contralto Ingeborg Springer is amply sufficient. The soprano Karola Agai was obviously not on duty and for instance in the duet 'Sulla Tomba ...." it's then a relief when Anton shares his voice with hers. That the opera is sung in German is also not an improvement. A bad habit, in the Netherlands luckily already abolished for a long time. Compare for instance the tenor-aria's' "Mutter, der Rote war allzu feurig" (Anton de Ridder), or "Moeder, de wijn is al te vurig" (Jacques Urlus sang it that way), with the original "Mama, quel vina è generoso". The lyricists of the past tried in conjunction with the composers to create a whole, sounds as beautiful as possible and well suited to sing. That's now spoiled. However, in the final of the opera, something is compensated. Edgardo is luckily alone on stage, in that way an unique phenomenon in opera for as far I know. But you have to wait, apart from the duet "Sulla tomba" in these 'Querschnitt' (highlights) almost three quarters. It suited me more to have these fragments on an other compilation cd.

Anton als de Hertog van Mantua in Verdi's opera Rigoletto, Amsterdam, 1972

Anton de Ridder as Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto, Amsterdam 1972

Anton de Ridder en Martina Arroya in Carmen

Anton de Ridder and Martina Arroya in Carmen 

2. Best of Verdi (Die schönsten Werke)  with Els Bolkestein, Anton de Ridder, e. a.
recording: 1973 (de Ridder, Els Bolkestein) Audio CD (CD-number: 3)
Label: Edel Recor (EDEL)
ASIN: B0000501NY
conductor(s): Kurt Masur, Giuseppe Patane, Siegfried Kurz, Robert Hanell, Otmar Suitner, Heinz Fricke
Performers: Els Bolkestein (soprano), Anton de Ridder (tenor), Anneliese Rothenberger (soprano), Evelyn Lear (soprano), Thomas Stewart (baritone), Sylvia Geszty (soprano), Armin Ude (tenor).

On this compilation Anton de Ridder is representated with fragments also been on the 'tenor-aria's' cd. Also there are some fragments of the Traviata performance - again in German - with Anneliese Rothenberger. A very average performance. Alone worthwhile depending the part of Anton de Ridder. Anneliese Rothenberger cannot enchant me, to put it 'euphemistic'. Comparing with the already mentioned soprano Karola Agai - from the Lucia performance - she is however a fine example of nuance and beauty of voice. Vermeldenswaardig is nog dat er twee aria's op deze cd's staan gezongen door de Nederlandse sopraan Els Bolkestein. Er bestond nog een complete cd van haar, maar die is helaas niet meer leverbaar.

3. Strauss: Eine Nacht in Venedig (highlights)  with Anton de Riddder, Julia Migenes, a.o.
Philips (Universal Vertrieb) (6. April 1993)  Audio CD (CD-number: 1)
ASIN: B000025THE
conductor: Kurt Eichhorn
Performers: Julia Migenes (soprano), Sylvia Geszty (soprano), Trudeliese Schmidt (mezzo soprano), Anton de Ridder (tenor), Ion Piso (tenor), Cesare Curzi (tenor), Erich Kunz (baritone), Choir of the Bayerischen Rundfunks, Symphony-Orchestra of the Bayerischen Rundfunks.


Einmalig als Herzog: Anton de Ridder, 18. Oktober 2001
Rezensentin/Rezensent: Wolfgang Walter aus Ludwigshafen/Rhein
Wenn ich nur den Herzog beurteilen müßte, wäre eine Bewertung mit 5 Sternen angebracht. Ich habe selten eine so starke stimmliche Interpretation des Herzogs gehört wie die des Tenors Anton de Ridder.Was er singt, glaubt man ihm auch, da er mit herrlicher Stimme und Herz wie kein zweiter singt.

4. tenor-aria's  with the Staatskapelle Berlin
Berlin Cla (EDEL) (1. August 1996) Audio CD (CD-number: 1)
Staatskapelle Berlin, Großes Rundfunkorchester Berlin
ASIN: 0032012BC
composers: Verdi, Pucchini, Rossini, conductors: Heinz Fricke and Robert Hanell, recordings 1968, 1973
performers: Anton de Ridder, Großes Rundfunkorchester Berlin 1973, Martin Ritzmann, Staatskapelle Berlin 1968


Rezensentin/Rezensent: aus München, Bayern Deutschland
Der Tenor Anton de Ridder hat eine goldene Stimme. Mühelose Höhen, um den ihn die grossen Startenöre beneiden müssten. Auf dem hohen C ruht er sich aus.

Ausgezeichnete Aufnahmen von Anton de Ridder, 18. Oktober 2001
Rezensentin/Rezensent: Wolfgang Walter aus Ludwigshafen/Rhein
Die Aufnahmen von dem Tenor Anton de Ridder entsprechen einem einmaligen Hörgenuß. In erster Linie sind die Arien aus Wilhelm Tell und die einmalig schöne Aufnahme des Faust zu nennen, wo man glauben könnte, daß sich Herr de Ridder auf dem hohen C mühelos ausruhen würde. Einfach super!

About this cd I can be more enthusiastic. Pity, that the publisher combined the part of Anton de Ridder - 10 aria's - with the average tenor Martin Ritzmann with 8 aria's.The 10 aria's of Anton de Ridder are sung in a fine matter, even very fine. In the fortissimo passages a little bit sharp at the edges, but yet a joy to listen to. With the Lucia recording, these tiny sharp part of the voice - Anton was at that time three years younger - wasn't there, but on this 'tenor-aria's' cd he sings yet more beautiful. That 'tiny part' can even depend to the recording. Interesting is also to compare the Traviata-aria 'Ist sie nicht bei mir....' (Lungo da lei; De' miei bollenti spiriti) with the equal part at the Traviata-Querschnitt under Patane. What a difference, the combination Anton de Ridder and conductor Robert Hanell comes to a much better result than with Giuseppe Patane. When he sings '...bin ich glücklich', you can now hear this. With the 'Querschnitt' (highlights) this isn't hardly the case. Briefly, this cd is a must to be acquainted for the first time with the voice of Anton de Ridder.

Verdi, Traviata, De' miei bollenti...., rec. 1973:

5. Strauss: Capriccio (complete) (recording 1971) Deutsche G (Universal Vertrieb) (5. Juli 1994) double CD
Gundula Janowitz (Die Gräfin), Dietrich Fischer-Diskau (der Graf, broer), Peter Schreier (Flamand), Hermann Prey (Olivier), Karl Ridderbusch (La Roche), Tatania Troyanos (Clairon), David Thaw (Taupe), Arleen Auger (Ital.singer), Anton de Ridder (Ital.ten.), Karl Christian Kohn (maj.dom.), Symfonieorkest Bayarische Rundfunk
DGG 445 347-2DISC

6. Verdi: La Traviata (highlights) [sung in German language, unfortunately!]  with Anneliese Rothenberger, Anton de Ridder, a.o.
Berlin Cla (EDEL) (recording 1973) Audio CD (CD-number: 1)
Label: Berlin Cla (EDEL)
ASIN: B000026LMT
conductor: Giuseppe Patane
performers: Anneliese Rothenberger (soprano), Ingeborg Springer (alto), Anton de Ridder (tenor), Armin Ude (tenor), Wolfgang Anheisser (baritone), Günther Leib (baritone), Thomas Thomaschke (bass), Siegfried Vogel (bass), Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden


see review of the compilation-cd: Best of Verdi (Die schönsten Werke) J.L

7. Beethoven: Fidelio. Video recording with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Recording Glyndebourne 1979.
Performers: conductor Bernard Haitink, Langdon Michael : Don Fernando, Allman Robert : Don Pizarro, Ridder Anton de : Florestan, Caley Ian : Jaquino, Söderström Elisabeth : Leonore, Gale Elizabeth : Marzelline, Hall Sir Peter : Regista, Appelgren Curt : Rocco.
Southern VI SL 2003

8. Busoni Ferruccio: Doktor Faust, Bayerischer Rundfunk München, role: Duke of Parma.
Recording 1969
DGG LP 2740 273

9. Strauss Richard: Der Rosenkavalier Wiener Philharmoniker. role: the Italian singer.
DGG CD 445 338 2