Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient


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(b Hamburg, 1804; d Coburg, 1860).

Ger. soprano. Began career as actress. Opera début Kärntnertorth., Vienna, 1821 (Pamina in Die Zauberflöte). In 1822 sang Leonore in Fidelio in presence of Beethoven in Vienna. Sang in Dresden 1823–47; Paris 1830–2; London 1832, 1833, 1837. Wagner was so overwhelmed by her singing that he vowed to dedicate his life to creating a new kind of opera. She created 3 Wagner roles: Adriano in Rienzi (1842), Senta in Der fliegende Holländer (1843), and Venus in Tannhäuser (1845), all in Dresden. Retired 1847. Schumann's song Ich grolle nicht was dedicated to her. Also sang in Rossini, Bellini, and Gluck. Although her vocal technique was apparently flawed, her dramatic powers made her interpretations unforgettable.

Subjects: Opera.

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