Richard Tauber

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About Richard Tauber

b. Ernst Seifert, 16 May 1891, Linz, Austria-Hungary, d. 8 January 1948, London, England. After enjoying a successful career in Europe as a star of opera and operetta, Tauber went to England in 1933 at the time of Nazi ascendancy. In Vienna, Tauber had his greatest success with Das Land Des Lächelns (1929), in which he sang Franz Lehár’s ‘Das Ist Mein Ganzes Herz’. It was this show with which he made his reputation in London. With The Land Of Smiles (1931) and its hit song, ‘You Are My Heart’s Delight’, he found a new and admiring audience. Tauber’s rich yet light lyric tenor was well suited to operetta and musical comedy and he commanded a huge following. He played several shows in London, including Paganini (1937) and Blossom Time (1942), and also wrote and starred in Old Chelsea (1943). For the latter, he composed a song that became a hit, ‘My Heart And I’. In addition to playing in the West End, Tauber also toured the provinces in shows and as a solo act. He also visited America, appearing on Broadway including appearing in Yours Is My Heart (1946), a re-working of The Land Of Smiles. Tauber had made films in Germany and continued to do so in England, some of them screen versions of his stage musicals. These films included, in Germany, Das Lockende Ziel, Das Land Des Lächelns (both 1930), Die Große Attraktion (1931) and Melodie Der Liebe (1932). In England he made Blossom Time, April Romance (both 1934), Heart’s Desire (1935), Land Without Music (US title: Forbidden Music) (1936), with music by Oscar Straus and with Tauber’s starring role supported by American comedian Jimmy Durante, and Pagliacci (US title: A Clown Must Laugh) (1937), which was based upon Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s opera. As World War II ended, Tauber made Waltz Time (1945), the storyline of which resembles but does not credit Johann Strauss the Younger’s Die Fledermaus, in which the popular duo of Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth also appeared. Tauber’s last screen appearance was in The Lisbon Story (1946), a film version of a London stage show that included the popular song, ‘Pedro The Fisherman’. Tauber recorded this song although he did not sing it in the film. Tauber’s film acting, like his stage acting, left a lot to be desired and his physical appearance was not quite what the scripts called for; no dashing young man was he. None of that mattered when he sang.

Linz, Austria
May 16, 1891

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