Frieda Hempel (26 June 1885 – 7 October 1955) was a German soprano singer in operatic and concert work who had an international career in Europe and the United States.
A soprano[soˈpraːno] is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to "high A" (A5) =880 Hz in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) =1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which often encompasses the melody. The soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, soubrette, lyric, spinto, and dramatic soprano.
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.
Frieda Hempel was born in Leipzig, Germany, and studied first at the Leipzig Conservatory and afterwards at the Stern Conservatory, Berlin, where she was a pupil of Selma Nicklass-Kempner. Her earliest appearances were in Breslau, singing Violetta, the Queen of the Night and Rosina. She made a debut in Schwerin in 1905, and was engaged there for the next two years, singing also Gilda, Leonora (Il trovatore) and Woglinde.
Leipzig is the most populous city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. With a population of 581,980 inhabitants as of 2017, it is Germany's tenth most populous city. Leipzig is located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) southwest of Berlin at the confluence of the White Elster, Pleiße and Parthe rivers at the southern end of the North German Plain.
The Stern Conservatory was a private music school in Berlin with many notable tutors and alumni. Today the school is part of the Berlin University of the Arts.
La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La Dame aux camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas fils. The opera was originally titled Violetta, after the main character. It was first performed on 6 March 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice.
She made such a success that the Kaiser Wilhelm II requested the Schwerin authorities to release her to sing also in Berlin. She made a debut there in 1905 as Frau Fluth (in Nicolai's Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor ). She sang at the Royal Court Opera, Berlin, from 1907 to 1912, where she was also admired as Lucia, Marguerite de Valois and Marie.
Carl Otto Ehrenfried Nicolai was a German composer, conductor, and one of the founders of the Vienna Philharmonic. Nicolai is best known for his operatic version of Shakespeare's comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor as Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor. In addition to five operas, Nicolai composed lieder, works for orchestra, chorus, ensemble, and solo instruments.
Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian-language libretto loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott's historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor.
Les Huguenots is a French opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer, one of the most popular and spectacular examples of the style of grand opera. In five acts, to a libretto by Eugène Scribe and Émile Deschamps, it premiered in Paris in 1836.
She appeared at the Covent Garden, London in 1907 as Bastienne, as Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel , as Eva and Elsa and again as Frau Fluth: Melba and Selma Kurz were taking centre stage in the more popular roles.
The Royal Opera House (ROH) is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later, Handel's first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there.
Engelbert Humperdinck was a German composer, best known for his opera Hansel and Gretel.
Lohengrin, WWV 75, is a Romantic opera in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner, first performed in 1850. The story of the eponymous character is taken from medieval German romance, notably the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach and its sequel, Lohengrin, written by a different author, itself inspired by the epic of Garin le Loherain. It is part of the Knight of the Swan tradition.
In 1912 she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, in New York City as Marguerite de Valois in Les Huguenots. She sang regularly in New York thereafter into the 1920s. She was the first to sing the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier in New York (for Gatti-Casazza, December 9, 1913) and in Berlin, and she also sang the role in London in 1913. She was in the Met 1913 Un ballo in maschera as Oscar, with Caruso, Emmy Destinn, Margarete Matzenauer and [[Pasquale Amato]; also the 1916 Marriage of Figaro with Matzenauer, Geraldine Farrar and Antonio Scotti. Her La fille du régiment was presented there in 1917. Hempel had a very wide dramatic range, from Rosina or Queen of the Night to Wagner's Eva and Weber's Euryanthe (Metropolitan, 1914 revival).
The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager. As of 2018, the company's current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59, is a comic opera in three acts by Richard Strauss to an original German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It is loosely adapted from the novel Les amours du chevalier de Faublas by Louvet de Couvrai and Molière's comedy Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. It was first performed at the Königliches Opernhaus in Dresden on 26 January 1911 under the direction of Max Reinhardt, Ernst von Schuch conducting. Until the premiere the working title was Ochs auf Lerchenau.
Un ballo in maschera(A Masked Ball) is an 1859 opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The text by Antonio Somma was based on Eugène Scribe's libretto for Daniel Auber's 1833 five act opera, Gustave III, ou Le bal masqué.
After 1919 she devoted herself to concert recitals, and left the Metropolitan Opera House somewhat abruptly, making way for the career of Amelita Galli-Curci. However she then made a second career on the concert platform, excelling in the performance of lieder of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Wolf, in Mozart concert arias, and the like. She became famous for recitals in which she appeared in costume as the famous nineteenth-century soprano Jenny Lind.
Amelita Galli-Curci was an Italian coloratura soprano. She was one of the most popular operatic singers of the 20th century, with her recordings selling in large numbers.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the classical era.
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer of the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Despite his short lifetime, Schubert left behind a vast oeuvre, including more than 600 secular vocal works, seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of piano and chamber music. His major works include the Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 , the Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 , the three last piano sonatas, the opera Fierrabras, the incidental music to the play Rosamunde, and the song cycles Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise.
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She died in Berlin in 1955.
Hempel began making records in Germany for Odeon Records in 1906 and later recorded for the Gramophone Company(HMV) in England as well as the Victor Talking Machine Company and Edison Records in the US. Most are by the acoustic process.
Her vocal students include the American voice teacher and Bel canto scholar Cornelius L. Reid.
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Renée Lynn Fleming is an American opera singer and soprano. Fleming has a full lyric soprano voice. She has performed coloratura, lyric, and lighter spinto soprano operatic roles in Italian, German, French, Czech, and Russian, aside from her native English. She has also sung chansons, jazz and indie rock. She speaks fluent German and French, along with limited Italian. Her signature roles include Countess Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, the title role in Dvořák's Rusalka, the title role in Massenet's Manon, the title role in Massenet's Thaïs, the title role in Richard Strauss's Arabella, the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, and the Countess in Capriccio.
Kathleen Deanna Battle is an American operatic soprano known for her distinctive vocal range and tone. Born in Portsmouth, Ohio, Battle initially became known for her work within the concert repertoire through performances with major orchestras during the early and mid-1970s. She made her opera debut in 1975. Battle expanded her repertoire into lyric soprano and coloratura soprano roles during the 1980s and early 1990s until her eventual dismissal from the Metropolitan Opera in 1994. After a 22-year absence from the Met, Battle performed a concert of spirituals at the Metropolitan Opera House in November 2016.
Victoria de los Ángeles was a Spanish operatic lyric soprano and recitalist whose career began after the Second World War and reached its height in the years from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s.
Edda Moser is a German operatic soprano. She was particularly well known for her interpretations of music by Mozart. Her 1973 recital LP Virtuose Arien von WA Mozart received the Grand Prix du Disque.
Cheryl Studer is an American dramatic soprano who has sung at many of the world's foremost opera houses. Studer has performed more than eighty roles ranging from the dramatic repertoire to roles more commonly associated with lyric sopranos and coloratura sopranos, and, in her late stage, mezzo-sopranos. She is particularly known for her interpretations of the works of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner.
Júlia Várady is a German soprano of Hungarian origin born in Nagyvárad, Hungary, who started out as a mezzo-soprano.
Jennifer Vyvyan was a British classical soprano who had an active international career in operas, concerts, and recitals from 1948 up until her death in 1974. She possessed a beautifully clear, steady voice with considerable flexibility in florid music. She was praised for her subtle phrasing and her dramatic gifts enabled her to create vivid individual portrayals. Although she sang a broad repertoire, she is particularly remembered for her association with the works of Benjamin Britten; notably singing roles created for her in the world premieres of several of his operas with the English Opera Group.
Selma Kurz was an Austrian operatic soprano known for her brilliant coloratura technique.
María Barrientos was a Spanish opera singer, a light coloratura soprano.
Ľubica (Ľuba) Orgonášová is a Slovak operatic soprano, who is particularly known for her interpretation of Mozart roles.
Joyce DiDonato is an American operatic lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano notable for her interpretations of the works of Handel, Mozart, and Rossini.
Meagan Miller is an American soprano with an active international career in opera, recital and concert.
Marie Wilt was an Austrian dramatic coloratura soprano. Possessing a wide vocal range with a significant amount of power and flexibility, Wilt sang a wide repertoire that encompassed the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the German operas of Richard Wagner, the grand operas of Giuseppe Verdi, and the bel canto operas of Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti. She sang for many years at the Vienna Hofoper and for a number of seasons at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London. She notably portrayed the role of Sulamith in the world premiere of Karl Goldmark's Die Königin von Saba in 1875. Also a regular performer of the concert repertoire, Wilt often appeared in performances of works by Beethoven, Haydn, and Mendelssohn.
Margarethe Siems was a German operatic soprano and voice teacher. A Kammersängerin of the Dresden State Opera, between 1909 and 1912 Siems created leading roles in three operas by Richard Strauss: Chrysothemis in Elektra, the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos.
Irene Abendroth (1871-1932) was a Polish coloratura soprano singer. She was a pupil of Frau Wilczek. She was a member of the Vienna court opera in 1889, and she sang in Riga and Munich, and again in Vienna (1894-99). She was engaged from 1899 to 1908 at the Royal Opera in Dresden.
Pia Ravenna was a celebrated Finnish coloratura soprano who specialized in operatic works and was known as "the Nightingale of Finland". Her artist name, Pia Ravenna, was based on her nickname "Pian" and Ravenna was found on the map of Italy.
Mabel Garrison Siemonn, was an American coloratura soprano who sang at the Metropolitan Opera from 1914 to 1921.
Fernando Carpi was an Italian operatic tenor and later professor of singing.
Edytha Fleischer was a German soprano and voice teacher. She began her career as a principal artist at the Berlin State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. She was a leading soprano at the Metropolitan Opera from 1926-1936, and at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires from 1934 until her retirement from the stage in 1949. Her husband, conductor Erich Engel, was the director of the latter institution.
Alma Evelina Fohström-von Rode (1856–1936) was a Finnish operatic soprano who gained international fame as she performed in the world's most famous opera houses and for a number of monarchs and emperors.