Jenny Lind

(1820—1887) singer

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(b Stockholm, 1820; d Malvern Wells, Worcs., 1887).

Swed. soprano. Made first stage appearance in Stockholm at age of 10. Début Stockholm Opera 1838 (Agathe in Der Freischütz). Dissatisfied with her v., went to Paris 1841 to study with M. P. R. García. Meyerbeer commended her to Berlin, where she sang Norma, 1844, and sang leading role in Meyerbeer's Ein Feldlager in Schlesien (later rev. as L'Étoile du Nord). After singing in Hamburg, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Vienna (1846), and elsewhere, causing a sensation wherever she appeared, she made her London début at Her Majesty's, 1847, as Alice in Robert le Diable. In same year created role of Amalia in I Masnadieri. Excelled in brilliant coloratura roles (Sonnambula, etc.). Retired from opera (last perf. London, May 1849), thereafter singing only in oratorio and concerts. Visited US 1850–2 under auspices of Barnum and acc. by Julius Benedict, the conductor, and Giovanni Belletti, the bar. who had advised her to consult García in 1841. In Boston, Mass., married the cond. Otto Goldschmidt, returning with him to Dresden 1852–5 and then to London, where she helped him to found the Bach Choir. Retired 1870. Prof. of singing RCM from 1883. Her voice was remarkable for its purity and agility in cadenzas and ornamentation. Known as ‘The Swedish Nightingale’.

Subjects: Opera.

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