Michel Gobets 1905-1945)


Michel (Machiel) Gobets est né le 21 mai 1905 à Amsterdam. Il venait d'une famille de musiciens. Son père, Nathan Gobets Sr. a chanté comme «ténor héroïque» dans le chœur» de la Grande Synagogue, où Michel chantera plus tard en tant que soliste. Il a suivi des études de chant au Conservatoire d'Amsterdam, dans  la classe d'opéra fondée en 1937 et dirigé par le chef Johannes den Hertog. Cette formation durait et reçu par la suite les élèves célèbres tels que connus tels que : Frans Vroons, Greet Koeman et Theo Baylé. Il a également chanté, le 10 Janvier 1940, pour la 'Nederlandsche Opera Stichting', le rôle d'Hoffmann d'Offenbach, dirigé par Johannes den Hertog, avec Gré Brouwenstijn, Greet Koeman en Frans Vroons. Plus tard, les mêmes solistes interprèteront l'opéra pour la Société Wagner (1er février 1940). Le ballet a été dirigée par le danseuse allemande Yvonne Georgi.

Gobets Michel a épousé le 2 mars 1927, Rachel Leger-Melkman. Ils eurent une fille, Anna Mimosa (née le 7 août 1927 à Amsterdam et décédé le 2 Juillet de 1985 à Amsterdam). Il aura 2 autres enfants issus de d'un deuxième mariage avec Gabrielle Brigitte Bernstein.

Michel Gobets

Michel Gobets as Hoffmann in 'Les contes d'Hoffmann'.(1940)
Michel Gobets sang with great success in Antwerp under Prof. Arthur Löwenstein in Mahler's 'Das Lied von der Erde. He sang also in oratorio as Saul (Händel), Die Jahreszeiten (Haydn) and Paulus (Mendelssohn). He shined in opera-concerts in 'The Concertgebouw', Amsterdam and K & W in The Hague.

Michel Gobets joined for years the 'Koor der Groote Synagoge' (Choir of the Great Synagogue) and 'Het Amsterdamsche Joodsche Koor' (The Amsterdam Jewish Choir'). With 'Het Koor der Groote Synagoge' under direction of S.H. Englander the choir joined in 1929 in London a contest and received the first price. The contest was write out by the magazine 'The Jewish Chronicle'. Michel Gobets was also a member of the in 1937 by Felix de Nobel founded 'Het Nederlands Kamerkoor'. This choir had in the first time many important soloists as members. A.o. tenor Frans Vroons, contralto Annie Hermes and soprano Corry Bijster.

The choir of the Great Synagogue recording for the American NBC radio network
October 1936
From left to right:
Michel Gobets (partly hidden), Joop Delcanho, Sam Englander, Sal Stodel (almost completely hidden),
Marcus Bonn, Nathan Gobets, Meijer Nebig, Lou Nieweg, Jo Rabbie, B. Muller, Louis de Wit
Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam (140N028)

His card
  • Rossini, Stabat Mater, Cujus animam, recording 9 June 1940 - brilliant performance. J.L.
  • Discography: "Het Puik der zoete kelen", one hundred years of Dutch vocal art. Philips Dutch Masters 464 385-2.
    This is a 10cd set, composed by Hans Kerkhoff, mainly from VARA archives. More about this set at Compilation cd's.
  • Chazzanut in pre-war Jewish Amsterdam,
    Performer: The Choir of the Great Synagogue of Amsterdam directed by S.H. Englander.
    Soloists M.Gobets and J.Rabbie, Cantor-in-chief I.E.Maroko
    Label: Jewish Historical Museum of Amsterdam, JHM 9701
    Year: 1997
    More information at: de Joodse voorzangkunst, the synagogical music
  • Review of a contest with 'The Choir of the Great Synagogue' , London, 1928 written by Dr. Whitaker, chairman of the jury:
    Dr. Whitaker, president of the jury, wrote later in July 19th, 1929: " I have forgotten what I said exactly about your wonderful choir, but repeat it in general terms. This is truly a remarkable choir: for one thing, the volume of tone is astonishing considering the small number of voices. Their precision and discipline are most extraordinary. But above all, their interpretations are among the finest I have ever heard. They get to the very heart of everything the sing, they sweep one away by their enormous emotional power, they convince us by their sheer intensity. They are most certainly one of the finest choirs in the world, and it has been a joy to hear them".

International Tracing Service Archive about Michel (Machiel, Machil, Michael) Gobets (from Bret Werb, USHMM):

Born 21.5.05 in Amsterdam
Profession: Musiker
Last place of residence: Deltastraat 13
Deported to Westerbork: date unknown
Deported to Theresienstadt (Transport 241/XXIV-2): 18.1.44
Deported to Auschwitz (Transport EK): 28.9.44
Deported to Sachsenhausen: [date unknown]
Arrived at Dachau on transport from Sachsenhausen: 17.11.44; worked at Kaufering subcamp
Date of death ("Abgang durch Tod" [!] as recorded in the Totenbuches vom K.L. Dachau): 20.4.45