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Open Features: Astrid Varnay

Peter Wintersgill outlines the life of Astrid Varnay who made her operatic debut at the New York Met in 1941.

Born
25th. April 1918 in Stockholm.

Parents
Austro—Hungarian, opera singers.

Childhood
Family moved to U.S.A. when she was two.

Adolescence
Studied with mother and H.Weigert.

Adult life
Opera debut 1941 New York Met as last minute substitute for Lotte Lehmann as Sieglinde in Die Walkure; stayed there till 1956, becoming the leading Wagnerian and Strauss soprano. Covent Garden debut 1948 as Brunnhilde. She sang at Bayreuth 1951-68, appearing frequently in Germany in these years, an outstanding Wagnerian. She later sang mezzo roles such, as Strauss' Herodias and Clytemnestra.

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