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Elisabeth Höngen

A chameleon-like musician, mezzo-soprano Elisabeth Höngen covered almost the entire spectral range of tasks written on her behalf tone of voice register. From Woman Macbeth to Marcellina in Mozart’s Figaro, from Carmen for an Orfeo of religious probity, she impersonated her every part having a conviction that appeared to modification her extremely physiognomy. Possessed of neither an excellent voice nor exceptional personal beauty, she bewitched her collaborators on stage, the conductors who caused her, and intensely faithful viewers in Austria, Germany, and somewhere else. Not really a superstar, she was an ensemble participant and appreciated colleague. Luckily, she recorded frequently and several of her finest characterizations had been preserved in studio room and live recordings. Actually with no vocal resplendence particular other artists taken to these tasks, her interpretations stay inescapably convincing. Höngen was created in Westphalia to parents who appreciated music as part of family members life. She used the violin at age group six and researched piano aswell. Although she got an inconsequential tone of voice, she developed a solid desire to become vocalist. Despite lessons in Wupperthal, which strengthened her device somewhat, it had been not really until after she journeyed to Berlin to review with Herman Weissenborn that she discovered her tone of voice developing. Understanding how to absorb the substance from the music also to constantly withstand forcing, she grew in to the vocalist who could take on both parts needing agility and the ones seeking dramatic power. Displaying her parents a agreement for the Wupperthal Opera melted their opposition to her getting a performing profession, and in 1933 she produced her stage debut as Irmentraut in Lortzing’s Der Waffenschmied. Höngen’s range as an interpretive musician soon resulted in an array of assignments. When a creation of Wagner’s Band brought a near low cost importation of performers in the Berlin Staatsoper, she by itself from the Wupperthal firm was assigned main assignments, performing all the primary mezzo parts, Rheingold through Götterdämmerung. From 1935 through 1940, Höngen was at Düsseldorf before giving an answer to a contact from Dresden where she continuing increasing her repertory and collaborating with Germany’s most celebrated performers. In 1943, Höngen recognized an invitation to become firm member on the Vienna Staatsoper and, after an effective debut as Ortrud, continued to be there until her pension in 1971. In Vienna, she sang a thorough variety of assignments, executing Verdi (Amneris, Azucena, Eboli and Ulrica aswell as Female Macbeth) furthermore to Strauss, Wagner, and Mozart. A preferred function of hers was Dorabella in Così enthusiast tutte where her present for humor was afforded an matchless setting up. Among her Strauss masterpieces, the Nurse in Die Frau ohne Schatten became as incisive an impersonation as her giddy Clairon in Capriccio. Both addled moms in Salome and Elektra also became generally Höngen’s real estate in Vienna plus they both thought in her one season on the Metropolitan Opera in 1952. Furthermore to Herodias and Clitemnestre, Höngen sang her fervent Waltraute. Ten shows in all symbolized her whole Met profession. As disappointing as her short-lived American incursion was to her, the commitment from the Vienna open public was great ease and comfort. She have been produced a Kämmersängerin in 1947 and was similarly celebrated at Salzburg (where her Orfeo was revered). During her lengthy profession, she performed with just about any among the great conductors (conserve for Toscanini). She participated with Furtwängler in his La Scala Band in 1950 and was among a small number of veteran artists asked to reopen the Bayreuth Celebration in 1951.

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