Obituary: Semperoper Dresden Ensemble Member Tom Martinsen Dies At 62

By Francisco Salazar

The Semperoper Dresden has announced the death of longtime ensemble member Tom Martinsen at the age of 62.

The tenor, who hailed from Norway, went to Hamar and studied at the Music Academy in Oslo and at the Opera Academy in Stockholm. He went on to make his stage-debut as Ferrando in Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” at the Royal Opera House Stockholm and went on to perform with the theater for several season. In 1986, he went on to join the ensemble in Koblenz, Germany where he sang his first Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La Bohème,” Steva in Janacek’s “Jenufa” and Boris in “Katja Kabanova.”

During this time, he went on to make debuts at the Munich Gärtnerplatz-Theatre and the Wiesbaden State Theatre and went on to appear in Schwitzerland, Austria and teh United States. He also performed in Vienna and Salzburg.

In the 1991-92 season, he went on to make his debut at the Semperoper Dresden singing the title-role in Jacques Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann.” The debut brought him much success and became an ensemble member with the company. He went on to perform numerous roles with the company including Ismaele in Verdi’s “Nabucco,” Narrboth in Strauss’ “Salome,” Steuermann in Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman,” Walther in “Tannhäuser” and the title-role in Georg Friedrich Haendel’s “Belszar.”

Aside from his work in Dresden, Martinsen went on to perform at the Berne Theatre and Teatro Nacional de Sâo Carlos as well as with the Bamberger Philharmonic, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Istanbul Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Dresden Philharmonic.

The tenor recorded R. Strauss’ opera “Friedenstag” conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli and starring Deborah Voigt for “Deutsche Grammophon.”