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Open Features: Leo Slezak

Peter Wintersgill outlines the career of Leo Slezak who was engaged by Mahler for the Vienna Opera.

Born
18th. August 1873 in Krasna Hora, Czechoslovakia.

Adolescence
Studied with Reske in Paris.

Opera debut Bern as Lohengrin 1896. Engaged by Mahler for Vienna Opera, stayed there till 1926. Covent Garden debut 1900 as Lohengrin, also in Met debut 1909. Sang Hermann there in the American premiere of Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades under Mahler 1910.

A fine lieder singer, he was noted for his warm and brilliant tone, and also for his sense of humour.

On retirement he wrote several books and appeared in films. He died on June 1, 1946 in Tegernsee aged 72.

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