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Open Features: Lilli Lehmann

Peter Wintersgill outlines the life of Lilli Lehmann who sang at the first Bayreuth festival in 1876.

24 November, 1848, in Warzburg, Germany

A soprano

Spent in Prague, where she studied the piano. She was
accompanist to her mother, who also taught her singing.

Lilli Lehmann made her debut in Prague in 1865 as First Boy in Die Zauberflote.

Adult Life
She sang at Danzig and Leipzig. At the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876 she sang Woglinde, Helwige and Waldvogel in The Ring.

She made her New York Metropolitan debut as Carmen and Brunhilde in 1885 and sang at the Salzburg Festival from 1901 1910. Her Covent Garden debut was as Isolde under Richeter in 1884, the role she also sang in Vienna. She was the first American Isolde in 1886, and also sang Suppe and Offenbach.

Lille Lehmann had an enormous repertoire, from Mozart and Bellini to Wagner and Verdi. She taught for 40 years, her pupils including Olive Fremstad and Geraldine Farrar.

She died in Berlin on 17 May, 1929, aged 80.


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