Endreze, Arthur (1893-1976) | University of Illinois Archives
Arthur Endres Kraeckmann (1893-1975) was a renowned 20th century baritone. A native of Chicago, IL, Kraeckmann spent most of his singing career in France where he was known as Arthur Endreze, and was the leading baritone at the Grand Opera for 20 years. Initially intent of becoming a farmer, Kraeckmann studied Agriculture at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and graduated with a B.S. in 1916. While working as a farmer, Kraeckmann attended local concerts and Chicago Opera Company productions. From 1920-1921 he toured with the Kaufman Male Quartette throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois.
In 1921 Kraeckmann decided to pursue singing fulltime and began studying in France at the American Academy at Fontainebleau. He made his opera debut at the Nice Opera House in Don Giovanni in 1925. Kraeckmann went on to appear at the Grand Opera, where he played the title role in Magnard's Guercoeur, and the baritone roles in Sauguet's La Chartreuse de Parme and numerous other contemporary French Operas. His other notable roles included Herode, Hamlet, Iago, and Athanael. A baritone, Kraeckmann was known for the warm, velvety tone in his upper register. His prefect French pronunciation and his ability to sing with great emotion meant that he was especially suited for lyrical parts. Kraeckmann retired from professional singing and returned to the United States to teach voice in 1948. However, he returned to France again after two years. Arthur Kraeckmann spent the last two years of his life in Chicago, IL, where he died on April 15, 1975.
Note: Although the Library of Congress Authority lists Kraeckmann's date of death as 1976, obituaries and The Grove Book of Opera Singers lists the death date as April 15, 1975.