About Us

THE CURRICULUM VITAE OF
HERR DOKTOR OTTO STOFFENBERGER

 Otto Stoffenberger was born in a flat (Ab) at number 8, The Getreidegasse, in Salzburg, Austria. This apartment was situated right next door to the birthplace of another musical phenomenon, Wolfgang, Amadeus Mozart. Otto’s musicality was noticed at an early age. Descendents of families who had lived in the Getreidegasse around 1756, Mozart’s birthday, recalled hearing of the time when the young Mozart was heard crying out in pain, during a particularly severe attack of colic. This, they remarked, sounded uncannily similar to Otto’s first attempts to sing.
 Otto’s ability to yodel in perfect pitch, indicated that he might transpire to a career in the arts. As he got older, he took to playing on the linoleum until at the age of ten, when his father bought him his first instrument, an Abyssinian nose flute. The study of this instrument was abruptly curtailed and almost cost Otto his life. Otto was performing with a marching band, participating in a parade supporting the cause of abandoned dogs. He accidently tripped over a stray poodle and fell forward onto his face; the flute became firmly wedged up his nose, necessitating emergency surgery to remove it. Being beyond repair, the flute, not Otto’s nose, this study was abandoned in favour of the piano.
 In 1914, Otto was conscripted into the German army, to serve in World War One. After only one week of active service, he was court marshalled for writing lewd, tawdry and unpatriotic songs, to help keep up the morale of his fellow trenchees. He narrowly escaped execution by firing squad, as the German army were saving their ammunition for the forthcoming campaign. Instead he met a worse fate, when the court marshal sentenced him to be exiled in Britain.
 Once there, he won a scholarship to study the piano at Trinity College of Music in London. There, he quickly gained notoriety by studying under, and sometimes on top of many of the college professors. Having attained the highest diplomas and praise for his various accomplishments, Otto attended the University of Plymouth and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in music.
 By then, the armistice had been declared and Germany had signed everything over to the allies. Seeing a gap in the entertainment market, which was now under the auspices of the Weimar Republic, Otto tried to return to Germany. After several unsuccessful attempts at repatriation, Otto persuaded his friends in the Royal Air Force to parachute him back into the Fatherland. Once there, he freelanced around the cabaret clubs of Berlin as a pianist, composer, arranger and musical director. He would have also worked in television, but it hadn’t been invented yet. It was during this time that he bumped into Titi von Tranz and the rest is history.

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TITI VON TRANZ
BIOGRAPHY

Born Heinrich Mueller in Bad Schandau, Saxony in 1889, Titi was called up for military service in 1909 and served for almost a month in the Saxon Hussars before being dishonourably discharged for “non-soldierly conduct” (or as she puts it, “failure to fellate an officer”). After a spell in military prison, where she organised concert parties, Titi left for civilian life vowing never to wear male clothing again!1911 found Titi performing in the Prague “small theatre”, and also in provincial theatre and cabaret through Saxony and Brandenburg before drifting into the Berlin cabaret scene sometime around 1913. With the outbreak of war in 1914, Titi volunteered for service in the Prussian Women's Auxilliary Balloon Corps, rising to the rank of Unteroffizier with commendations for service to “entertaining the troops”. It is rumoured that she became the mistress of Colonel Fritz von Essen-Essen during her concert party tour of 1916, and they were certainly involved when the great “Knockwurst Scandal” of May 1918 broke out – Colonel von Essen-Essen was arrested and shot for his part, and Titi deserted and went into hiding in Vienna until the end of the war.
With the collapse of the Central Powers in 1918, Titi returned to the cabaret scene of Weimar Berlin, playing the sleazy “Tinteltangel” (backstreet cabaret) circuit with such non-memorable accompanists as “Boozy Bertolt and His Musical Beer Bottle” and “Hairy Hans and His Hypnotic Harmonica”. With her career in apparently terminal decline, and the gin bottle figuring more and more in her life, it was some relief that she (literally) ran into Herr Doktor Otto Stoffenberger at the “Comfy Corner Club”. After apologising and offering to pay the cleaning bill for his trousers, Titi teamed up with Herr Doktor in an arm-wrestling competition with a pair of burly sailors, and a cabaret legend was born amidst the cigarette smoke and sweat. Deciding that arm-wrestling was not for them, they decided to work on a professional cabaret act.

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