Emmy Bettendorf


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(b Frankfurt, 16 July 1895; d Berlin, 20 Oct 1963). German soprano. She made her début in 1914 at Frankfurt in Conradin Kreutzer's Nachtlager in Granada. After two years with the company at Schwerin and an appearance in Vienna as Agathe in Freischütz she joined the Berlin Staatsoper, where her roles included Eva, Elsa and Desdemona; she also sang Ariadne and the Marschallin in performances conducted by Richard Strauss. During the 1920s she undertook much concert work and appeared in opera with an impressive German company touring Spain and the Netherlands. Increasingly important in her career were broadcasts and recordings, through which she became one of the most popular singers of her time. She retired in 1934, but toured the eastern front singing to troops in wartime, and from 1947 to 1952 taught at the Städtisches Konservatorium, Berlin. Recordings reveal her exceptionally pure and mellow voice, the style sometimes lacking in vitality but well suited to the quieter and more relaxed parts of her extensive repertory.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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