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MAAS, JOSEPH:

English musician and singer; born at Dartford, Kent, Jan. 30, 1847; died at London Jan. 16, 1886. Maas acted as chorister for five years at Rochester Cathedral (from 1856) and studied under J. C. Hopkins and Madame Bodda-Pyne. When his voice broke he became a clerk in the dockyards at Chatham. In 1869 he went to Milan, returning to England in 1871, when he appeared at one of the Henry Leslie Choir Concerts at St. James's Hall; he sang in "Babil and Bijou" at Covent Garden in Sept., 1872. He made his reputation as an operatic singer in America, where he remained for a number of years, chiefly as first tenor in various English opera companies. On his return to England he was engaged by Carl Rosa, and appeared in "The Golden Cross" at the Adelphi Theatre in 1878. In 1879 he appeared at Her Majesty's Theatre as Rienzi in Wagner's opera of that name. In the ballad operas of Balfe and Wallace his popularity was unequaled; one of his best and most successful parts was that of the hero in Massanet's "Manon" at Drury Lane Theatre. Maas sang for a short time in Italian opera at Her Majesty's and Covent Garden theaters. On the concert platform he had few rivals in English ballads and as a soloist in Handel's oratorios.

Bibliography:
  • The Times (London), Jan. 18 and 23, 1886.
J. G. L.
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