Lotte Schöne


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(b Vienna, 15 Dec 1891; d Paris, 23 Dec 1977). Austrian soprano, later naturalized French. She studied in Vienna, made her début at the Volksoper in 1915, and sang at the Staatsoper from 1917 to 1926 and at the Salzburg festivals from 1922 to 1935. Hearing her there, Bruno Walter engaged her for the Berlin Städtische Oper, where she remained from 1926 to 1933. In Vienna and Berlin she was especially famous in all the lighter Mozart roles, as Adele in Die Fledermaus and Norina in Don Pasquale, as Giuseppe Verdi's Gilda and Oscar, and as Richard Strauss's Sophie and Zerbinetta. Among several Puccini roles she excelled as Liù, which she sang with great success at Covent Garden in 1927. The latter part of her artistic life was disrupted by the coming to power of the Nazis in 1933. Thereafter she made her home in Paris, where her Mélisande was much admired, but she was obliged to go into hiding in southern France during the war. A beautiful woman, Schöne had a charming stage presence, of which her light and well-schooled soprano seemed the natural counterpart. The best of her many recordings are those made in Berlin between 1927 and 1931. They reveal her skills as a lieder interpreter as well as chronicling the charm of her style in operatic roles.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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