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Bernhard Baruch Pollini, German tenor and director of Hamburg Opera
theatre (Hamburg Stadt Opera Theatre)
Carte de visite
Private collection of T. Max Hochstetler
© Klaus Niermann - studioniermann.de/html/bieber.html
Bernhard Baruch Pollini (1836 - 1897), German singer & Director
Bernhard Pollini was born in Cologne on 12 December 1836. He began his opera career as tenor singing the role of Arturo in "Puritani" at Berlin. He was student of Georg Weikl. Pollini is best known as the director of the Hamburg Stadt Opera Theatre a post he assumed in 1873. The Stadt-Theatre had fallen on hard times having been built in 1826 and was in dire need of renovation. Pollini leased the building and rebuilt it to its original splendor doing both interior and exterior renovations. A second renovation in 1891 would see the introduction of electric lights for the theatre. Pollini was attracted to the music of Richard Wagner, without neglecting Verdi. In 1879, he produced Wagner's "Ring of the Nibelung, and in 1883 the year of Wagner's death he produced a cycle of nine of his operas. Nearly one thousand performances were calendared prior to the masters death. Pollini was able to attract the elite performers of the day and was not afraid to debut new operas. He brought the best musical directors to Hamburg engaging Hans von Bulow (1887-1890) and Gustav Mahler (1891-1897) which contributed greatly to the fame of the Hamburg Opera.
Pollini died 27 November 1897 in Hamburg. His successor in 1891 as director of the Hamburg Opera was Gustav Mahler.
(Kindly contributed by T. Max Hochstetler, June 2007)