Helene Wildbrunn


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(b Vienna, 8 April 1882; d Vienna, 10 April 1972). Austrian soprano. She studied with Rosa Papier and Hans Paumgartner in Vienna, where she sang small roles at the Volksoper in 1906. Engaged at Dortmund (1907–14) as a contralto, she sang Ortrud, Fricka, Amneris and Delilah, but at Stuttgart (1914–18) she moved into the soprano repertory, including Leonore, Amelia, Kundry, Isolde and the Marschallin. In 1917, she created the role of Bianca in Alexander Zemlinsky's Eine florentinische Tragödie at the Hoftheater, Stuttgart. She was engaged at the Berlin Staatsoper (1918–25), the Vienna Staatsoper (1919–32) and the Berlin Städtische Oper (1926–9), where her Electra was acclaimed by Richard Strauss. She also sang Kundry at La Scala (1922); Brünnhilde, Isolde, Kundry and the Marschallin at Buenos Aires (1922–3); Donna Anna at Salzburg (1925); Leonore at Covent Garden (1927) and Isolde and Brünnhilde (Die Walküre) at the Paris Opéra (1928). Recordings of extracts from her major roles show the strength and security of her voice and her dramatic flair.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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