Lilly Hafgren


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(b Stockholm, 7 Oct 1884; d Berlin, 27 Feb 1965). Swedish soprano. She was trained first as a pianist and was advised by Siegfried Wagner to take up singing. Her studies in Frankfurt and Milan being completed, she was invited to Bayreuth, where in 1908 she made her début as Freia in Das Rheingold. Further roles there were Elsa in Lohengrin and Eva in Die Meistersinger, in which role she reappeared in 1924. From 1908 to 1912 she was with the opera at Mannheim, after which there followed six years at the Hofoper in Berlin. Her large repertory now ranged from Brünnhilde and Isolde to Pamina and Countess Almaviva, Tosca, Carmen and Charlotte in Werther. She sang the Empress in the Berlin première of Die Frau ohne Schatten and the title role in that of Ariadne auf Naxos. She travelled widely in Europe, appearing at La Scala as Brünnhilde in the seasons of 1925, 1926 and 1930. Her operatic career continued in Dresden until 1934, and she was also a noted recitalist. For a time she appeared under the name of Hafgren-Waag after her first marriage and Hafgren-Dinkela after her second. Her voice on records is bright in tone, conveying a strong sense of dramatic commitment.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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