Ellen Gulbranson


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(b Stockholm, 4 March 1863; d Oslo, 2 Jan 1947). Swedish soprano. She studied with Mathilde Marchesi in Paris, and also with Marchesi's daughter Blanche, who successfully transformed her from a mezzo-soprano into a dramatic soprano. She made her début in Stockholm in 1889 as Amneris and sang Brünnhilde and Ortrud there in 1898. She was a leading figure among the second generation of Bayreuth singers, whose fame was largely due to the Wagner festivals there. In 1896, 20 years after the opening of Bayreuth, she shared the role of Brünnhilde with Lilli Lehmann, but thenceforward remained its sole exponent until 1914, appearing also as Kundry during five seasons. Her Covent Garden Brünnhilde in 1900 made no great mark in the proximity of Milka Ternina and Nordica; but when she returned in 1907 to sing in two Ring cycles under Hans Richter, she was found to have greatly improved. Gulbranson made a few recordings by the unreliable Edison and Pathé ‘hill and dale’ system.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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