Opera Scotland

Joseph Maas Suggest updates

Born Dartford, 30 January 1847.

Died London, 16 January 1886.

English tenor.

Joseph Maas sang as a chorister at Rochester Cathedral before training with one of the Pyne sisters. In 1869 he trained in Italy under Sangiovanni. His London concert debut was in 1871, and two years later he appeared at Covent Garden in a pastiche called Babil and Bijou. He then moved to the USA for a period, touring as principal tenor of the Kellogg Opera Company. In 1878 he returned to London, and spent the rest of his career with Carl Rosa. His roles with the company included Rienzi, Wilhelm Meister, Manrico, Radamès and Des Grieux. He appeared briefly at other venues including the Norwich Festival. In 1880 he sang Faust for Mapleson, and in 1883 Lohengrin at Covent Garden. He was not a great actor, though he was thought to be improving at the time of his death. Nearly fifty years later, Hermann Klein wrote: "We have since had no English operatic tenor to be compared with him." He appeared in concert in Scotland, and a Dundee critic always spoke nostalgically of his appearances with the Choral Union.

(Ref. George Hauger: 'Joseph Maas: A Centenary Tribute' in Opera, February 1986)

Roles in Scotland

Wilhelm Meister a student
Mignon 1879
Mignon 1880
Manrico a chieftain under the Prince of Biscay
Trovatore 1880
Stradella Alessandro Stradella, a musician
Alessandro Stradella 1880

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