|OPERETTA COMPOSER (AUSTRIAN EMPIRE)|
BORN 5 Jun 1884, Moravské Budejovice - DIED 16 Oct 1957, Zürich|
REAL NAME Benatzky, Rudolph Josef Frantisek
GRAVE LOCATION St. Wolfgang im Salzkammergut, Oberösterreich: Friedhof, St. Wolfgang-Strasse (Ehrengrab )
Ralph Benatzky joined the Austrian army but in 1909 he retired after an illness. He married singer and actress Fédi Férard in 1909. He studied German philology in Prague and Vienna and in 1910 he was promoted in Vienna. He started writing songs for cabarets and was involved in the artistical management of cabarets in Vienna and Munich.
In 1914 he and Fédi were divorced and in the same year he met the singer Josma Selin. He became her composer and pianist and they married in November, 1914. They performed together in several cities in Europe. By that time he also wrote operatta's and in 1916 his "Liebe in Schnee" was a success at the Ronacher theatre in Vienna.
He move to Berlin with his wife and there he worked with the director Erik Chavell. He was still in active in Vienna where he worked with Karl Farkas and Fritz Grünbaum. His biggest success was the operatta "Im weißen Rößl", about an inn in Strobl am Wolfgangsee. It was an international success and enabled him to buy a villa in Thun.
He had started an affair with the dancer Mela Hoffmann and after Josma committed suicide in 1929 he married her. With Mela he settled in Switzerland. On Zara Lenader's explicit request, he was the composer for her movie "Zu neuen Ufern" (1937). In 1938 he went to Hollywood to work for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. This cooperation was aborted soon, but he stayed in the USA until he settled in Zurich in 1948.
He lived in Zurich until his death and on his own request he was buried in St. Wolfgang after his death in 1957.
had work performed by Schmedes, Maria von