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Erik Anton Julius Schmedes.png

Cabinet Photograph
Adéle - Photographer
Vienna, Austria
c. 1898

Born on 27 August 1868 in Denmark, Erik Anton Julius Schmedes made his debut as a baritone in Wagner's Lohengrin in 1891. He would later change over to singing tenor roles and became most noted for his roles in other of Wagner's operas including Die Walküre, Lohengrin, Das Rheingold, and Siegfried.


 I have seen other period photographs of Schmedes wearing almost identical costumes described as being him in the role of either Lohengrin or Siegfried. This posed a certain difficulty in assigning a specific role to this image. Generally, the character of Siegfried is portrayed in a very rustic manner often costumed in animal skins while Lohengrin being a knight in the high Arthurian tradition is costumed in a much more refined and courtly style, almost always with a swan's head crest on his helmet. It is possible that Schmedes owned his own costumes and incorporated common elements into those for both roles. Given the apparent lack of a swan's head on his helmet in this photo and the decidedly "Viking" look to his overall all look as am assuming that Schmedes is indeed portraying Siegfried in this particular photograph.

Erik Anton Julius Schmedes died in Vienna, Austria in 1931.

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