July 31, 2015, 8.15 p.m. (C.E.T.)
Musical Direction: Alain Altinoglu
Stage Direction: Hans Neuenfels
With Kristine Opolais, Jonas Kaufmann a.o.
Nicolai Harry Gustav Gedda was born in Stockholm [July 11, 1925] to a Swedish mother and a half-Russian father. Gedda was raised by his aunt Olga Gedda and his adoptive father Mihail Ustinov (a distant relative of Peter Ustinov), who sang bass in Serge Jaroff's Don Cossack Choir and was cantor in a Russian Orthodox church. Gedda grew up bilingual in Swedish and Russian. From 1929 to 1934 they lived in Leipzig, Germany, where young Nicolai learned German. They returned to Sweden after Hitler came to power. In school he later learned English, French and Latin. After leaving school he learned Italian by himself.Gedda worked first as a bank teller in a local bank in Stockholm. One day he told a client that he was searching for a good singing teacher, and the client recommended Carl Martin Öhman, a well known Wagnerian tenor from the 1920s, who is also credited with discovering Jussi Björling. Later he also taught the Finnish bass Martti Talvela. Öhman was enthusiastic about Gedda and took him as a pupil, at the beginning without payment, because Gedda was at the time supporting his parents. After a few months he obtained a scholarship and was later able to pay for Öhman's singing lessons.
|Benjamin Appl, Baritone|