German-born naturalized US singer, who was one of the great lyric sopranos of her era.
Born into a family of musicians, she studied singing in Berlin, chiefly with Mathilde Mallinger (1847–1920), Wagner's original Eva in The Mastersingers. She made her professional debut in Hamburg in 1910 as Aennchen in Nicolai's Merry Wives of Windsor and in 1914 Beecham engaged her to sing at the Drury Lane Theatre, London, as Sophia in Richard Strauss's Die Rosenkavalier. She excelled in Strauss's music and also sang the Composer and Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos, Arabella in Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Christine in Intermezzo. Lehmann also sang Wagnerian roles in addition to Italian and French opera. The Nazis forced her to leave Vienna in 1938 and she eventually settled in the USA, where she became a naturalized citizen. She made her farewell performances singing Strauss in New York (1945) and Chicago (1946). In retirement she turned to teaching, painting, and writing.