19.8.09

Breaking News: Hildegard Behrens has died

The known soprano Hildegard Behrens, one of the finest Wagnerian performers of her generation, has died while traveling in Japan. She was 72. Jonathan Friend, artistic administrator of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, said Tuesday in an e-mail to opera officials that Behrens felt unwell while traveling to a festival near Tokyo. She went to a Tokyo hospital, where she died of an apparent aneurism.
Her funeral was planned in Vienna. Organizers of Behrens' visit said she was in Japan to perform at a music festival and then give lessons at a hot springs resort. Miyuki Takebayashi, an official at the Kanshinetsu Music Association, said Behrens was taken to a hospital Sunday night and died there Tuesday. "Her son and daughter were at her bedside when she passed away," she said.
Behrens was among the finest actors on the opera stage during a professional career that spanned more than three decades. She made her professional stage debut in Freiburg as the countess in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" in 1971 and made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Giorgetta in Puccini's "Il Tabarro" in 1976.
She sang 171 performances at the Met, where she appeared until 1999.
She was most acclaimed in the late 1980s and early 1990s for her portrayal of Bruennhilde in the Otto Schenk production of the Ring Cycle, the Met's first televised staging of Wagner's tetralogy.
A dramatic soprano, her Met career included Elettra in Mozart's "Idomeneo," Isolde in Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde," Senta in "Die Fliegende Hollander," Donna Anna in Mozart's "Don Giovanni," Santuzza in Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana," the title roles in Strauss' "Elektra" and 'Salome," and Puccini's "Tosca," and Marie in Berg's "Wozzeck."
She was injured during the final scene of Wagner's "Goetterdaemmerung" at the Met on April 28, 1990, when Valhalla collapsed prematurely and an overhead of foam rubber landed on her. Behrens walked off the stage under her own power and was taken to Roosevelt Hospital.
She missed subsequent performances because of the injury, and later sued the Met, according to a 1995 article in The New York Law Journal.
According to Behrens' Web site, she was born in the north German town of Varel-Oldenburg. Her parents were both doctors and she and her five siblings studied piano and violin as children. She earned a law degree from the University of Freiburg, where she was also a member of the student choir. She received Germany's Bundesverdienstkreuz (Order of the Merit Cross), Bavaria's Bayerischer Verdienstorden service medal and was honored by both the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Vienna State Opera.

Source: Associated Press - Ronald Blum

4 comments:

mahler76 said...

ώστε ζούσε ακόμα και δεν ήταν και τόσο μεγάλη...

Gloriana said...

και τραγουδούσε...

Neco73 said...

Και είχε το δακτυλίδι του Richard Strauss. Πολύ μεγάλη σοπράνο.

Gloriana said...

Ti les? Den to xera...