Jutta Rose, 95

Singer and Survivor
Jutta Rose, 95

       Jutta Rose, a singer and voice teacher who survived the Holocaust, died at home in Bay Point, Sag Harbor, on Thanksgiving Day at the age of 95. Her last five years were fraught with suffering as a result of falls and deteriorating scoliosis, said Romany Kramoris, her spouse of 33 years, who cared for her at home, along with East End Hospice in the last 10 days of her life.

       She was born in Hannover, Germany, on Jan. 17, 1918, into an affluent family. Her father, Fritz Nathan Rose, and his brothers had a business that sold heavy equipment for farming. Her mother, Franziska Meyer Rose, was a mezzo-soprano, lieder singer, and pianist. For some 10 years, however, from the age of 16 until the end of World War II, Ms. Rose, whose father was Jewish and mother Christian, endured the dire effects of Nazism.

       Ms. Rose’s childhood education began at the Victoria Lyceum, an exclusive school, and she enjoyed tennis, skiing, and mountain climbing. She was thrown out of the Lyceum in 1934. In 1938, at the age of 20, she was engaged to Henri Nannen, an anti-Nazi activist who founded the world famous magazine Der Stern. In the same year, on Nov. 9, the Night of Broken Glass, the Nazis came to the Rose residence, dragged her bleeding father down the steps, and sent him, along with his brothers, to Buchenwald. Her mother was spared, but put into forced labor.

       By this time, Ms. Rose was an accomplished singer, although she was denied the opportunity to attend a conservatory or university. She and her mother fled, first to Bremen and then to Berlin, where both were put into forced labor. At one point both were hidden in the Alps by one of Ms. Rose’s childhood friends, who was Christian. Her mother was able to emigrate to the United States, but Ms. Rose remained in the Alps until the end of the war, when, she said, French troops burst into her hut. She described them as brutal, saying, according Ms. Kramoris, “Was this their way of bringing us freedom against Nazi hell? Violence against violence!”

       After the war, Ms. Rose resumed her career, performing in Wagner’s “Die Walkure” at the Bremen State Opera. She and Kathleen Kersting, a teacher and singer, created a company of their own, basing it in Milan and touring in Italy, Spain, and Austria. Ms. Rose was most renowned for the title role of Richard Strauss’s “Salomé.” She also had major roles in many other operas, from “Manon” to “Aida” to “The Merry Widow.”

       The women came to New York City in 1957, where, after Ms. Kersting’s death, Ms. Rose taught at the Manhattan School of Music, later relocating to Bleecker Street when she made the most dramatic change in her teaching from opera to the Broadway theater.  She established a 14th Street studio, where she taught for 26 years. Among her students, with whom she maintained long friendships, were the actors Nathan Lane, Frank Langella, and Maria Tucci.

       Thirty-three years ago, when Ms. Kramoris and Ms. Rose became partners, Ms. Rose bought her dream house, Muschelhaus (Seashell House), a small white house near the water which reminded her of Italy. Ms. Rose and Ms. Kramoris traveled extensively, to Salzburg, Germany, where they enjoyed summer music festivals, and to Austria, Mexico, Egypt, and various parts of America. Ms. Rose also enjoyed participation in the Bay Point Property Association, long walks, and swims at Long Beach in Sag Harbor. The couple were legally married eight years ago. In addition to Ms. Kramoris, Ms. Rose is survived by two cousins, Donald Rose and David Rose, whose addresses were not available. A memorial gathering may take place in the spring.