From Development server
31 January 2006

Herta Glaz, 95, Versatile Mezzo of '40s & '50s with Over 300 Met Performances to Her Name, Has Died

Vienna, September 16, 1910 - Hamden, CT, January 28, 2006

Herta Glaz
James Abresch/OPERA NEWS Archives
Herta Glaz, a mezzo-soprano who sang over 300 performances at the Metropolitan Opera between 1942 and 1956 before establishing a distinguished career as a voice teacher at the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Southern California, has died. She was ninety-five years old.

Glaz began her studes with Rosa Papier Paumgarnter at the State Academy of Music in her native Vienna, and with Anna Bahr-Mildenburg at the Mozarteum in Salzburg before making her opera debut at the State Opera of Breslau as Erda in Wagner's Das Rheingold. She was nineteen. After a concert tour performing with Ernst Krenek, Glaz was engaged by Fritz Busch for the inaugural season of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, in 1934. After making her U.S. debut, in 1936, singing Mahler's Lied von der Erde and the Bach St. John Passion with Otto Klemperer and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Glaz toured the U.S. and Canada with the Salzburg Opera Guild under the management of Sol Hurok. Because of gathering storm clouds of war in Europe, Glaz chose to remain in the United States and to make the rest of her career there. She became a U. S. citizen in 1943. (Glaz was billed at various times in her career as Hertha Glatz, and often referred to as a contralto.)

Graz Pic 2
Annina in the Met's Der

In 1938, she sang with the Chicago Opera as Brangäne in Tristan and Isolde. In the fall of 1939, Glaz was Waltraute and Fricka in San Francisco Opera's Die Walküre; Glaz returned regularly to San Francisco (1944--51), where she took on such roles as Mistress Page, Annina in Der Rosenkavalier, Marina in Boris Godunov, First Norn and Siébel in Faust. Glaz gave her first performance with the Metropolitan Opera on Christmas Day 1942, singing Amneris in Aida. She stayed with the company for fourteen seasons, singing more than twenty-five roles including Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Annina, Siegrune in Die Walküre, Flosshilde in Götterdämerung and Magdalene in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. She was also active in lieder recitals and in concert and recorded for RCA Victor and Columbia.

In 1955, Glaz married Dr. Frederick Redlich, then Chairman of the Dept. of Psychiatry and later Dean of the Yale University School of Medicine. (She had previously been wed to conductor Joseph Rosenstock and Viennese composer Paul August Csonka; both unions ended in divorce.) A year later, Glaz joined the voice faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, where she taught from 1956-77. She also taught privately in New Haven, Connecticut, and founded the New Haven Opera Society, later known as the New Haven Opera Theater. As NHOS director from 1963-1976, Glaz was responsible for presenting full professional productions, as well as hundreds of outreach performances for school children, as part of the company's "Project Learn." She also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven from 1958-62.

In 1977, Glaz and Redlich relocated to Los Angeles, where she was appointed an adjunct professor of voice at the University of Southern California and remained until 1994. Glaz also taught at Aspen Music Festival (1987-94) and was a visiting professor for two months in 1987 at China's Shanghai Academy of Music.

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