Norman Mittelmann. Baritone, b Winnipeg 25 May 1932. He studied with Doris Mills Lewis in Winnipeg, with Richard Bonelli, Martial Singher, and Vladimir Sokoloff at the Curtis Institute, and with Lotte Lehmann at the Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Cal. He was coached in Italian opera by Enzo Mascherini.
Mittelmann's first operatic roles were in Lehmann's productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Ariadne auf Naxos. In 1956 he appeared in the US premiere of Milhaud's David. He made his Canadian operatic debut with the Canadian Opera Company (COC) in 1958, as Marcello in La Bohème, and later sang in Europe with companies in Essen and Düsseldorf, joining the Deutsche Oper am Rhein ca 1959. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut 28 Oct 1961 as the Herald in Lohengrin and continued to sing there until 1981. Returning to Europe he appeared with the Berlin Deutsche Oper, the Munich Staatsoper, the Vienna Staatsoper, and companies in Hamburg and Karlsruhe. In 1965 he joined the Zürich Opera and made his debut with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, as Germont in La Traviata. In 1966 he sang Ruprecht in Prokofiev's Angel of Fire with the Chicago Lyric Opera.
In 1967 Mittelmann returned to Canada to sing the four-part role of Lindorf, Coppelius, Dappertutto, and Dr Miracle in a COC production of The Tales of Hoffmann in Toronto and at Expo 67. The critic of the Toronto Telegram wrote of this quadruple portrayal (21 Sep 1967): 'Dr. Miracle has his changes rung with superb authority by the baritone Norman Mittelmann. The portrayal seemed tailored not only to the requirements of the role but also to the propensities of Mittelmann. It is no mean feat bringing an abstract and an ego into such close alignment. Mittelmann of course is first-rate material... a splendid singer, a decent actor and an experienced operatic performer.' In 1983 he repeated the role with the Chicago Lyric Opera.
In 1970 at the Hamburg Staatsoper, Mittelmann was Daniel in the premiere of Willy Burkhard's Ein Stern geht auf aus Jaakob. He sang with the San Francisco Opera in 1973, 1974, and 1979, performed the role of Amonasro in Aida at the San Diego Opera's Verdi Festival in 1978, and appeared in Chicago as Shaklovity in Mussorgsky's Khovantchina in 1976, and as Amonasro in 1980. He also performed with companies in Bogota, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Florence, Frankfurt, Marseilles, Paris, and Palermo. Mittelmann sang in opera in his native Winnipeg for the first time in April 1979, as the Count di Luna in the Manitoba Opera production of Il Trovatore. He appeared there again later that year as Germont in La Traviata and also that season sang the title role in Rigoletto with the Edmonton Opera. In 1983 he performed in the US premiere of Janáček's From the House of the Dead with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Rafael Kubelik.
Other roles performed by Mittelmann include Achilles in Schoeck's Penthesilea; Don Carlos di Vargas in La Forza del Destino; Escamillo in Carmen; Gerard in Andrea Chenier; Gunther in Götterdämmerung; Iago in Otello; Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde; Jokanaan in Salome; Mandryka in Arabella; Méphistophélès in both Berlioz' The Damnation of Faust and Gounod's Faust; Ramiro in L'Heure espagnole; Scarpia in Tosca; Silvio and Tonio in I Pagliacci; Wolfram in Tannhäuser; and the title roles in Eugene Onegin; Falstaff, Prince Igor, and Simon Boccanegra. In 1991 he maintained residences in Zürich and in Carlsbad, Cal, and sang primarily in concert and recital performances. In 2004 Mittelmann was featured in a concert in Palm Springs, Cal.