Gertrud Wettergren


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(b Eslöv, Malmö, 17 Feb 1897; d Stockholm, 26 Nov 1991). Swedish contralto. She studied in Stockholm, and made her début there in 1922 as Cherubino. Engaged at the Stockholm Royal Opera for more than 25 years, she also sang all over Europe and in the USA, making her Metropolitan Opera début in 1935 as Amneris, and her Chicago début the following year as Carmen. First heard at Covent Garden in 1936 as Amneris, she returned in 1939 as Azucena, a performance preserved on disc. Her large repertory included several Wagner roles – Brangäne, Venus, Fricka – as well as Delilah, Mignon, Herodias (Salome), Marina (Boris Godunov) and Marfa (Khovanshchina). She also appeared in many Swedish operas, including Wilhelm Peterson-Berger's Adils och Elisiv and Domedagsprofeterna, Hilding Rosenberg's Resa till Amerika, Kurt Atterberg's Bäckahästen and Gunnar de Frumerie's Singoalla, in which she created the title role in 1940. She took part in the Swedish première of Peter Grimes (1945) and continued to appear in Stockholm until 1952. Her voice, a true contralto, was firm and well projected, while her strong personality made her a fine interpreter of such roles as Carmen or Delilah, whose arias she recorded. She retired in 1949. Her autobiography, Mitt ödes stjärna (‘My lucky star’), was published in Stockholm in 1949.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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