Opera Scotland

Kerstin Meyer Suggest updates

Kerstin Margareta Meyer.

Born Stockholm, 3 April 1928.

Died 14 April 2020.

Swedish mezzo-soprano.

Kerstin Meyer had a long and successful international career which was always rooted in the Royal Opera in Stockholm and the old Court Theatre at Drottningholm.

She trained at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and made her debut with the Royal Swedish Opera at the age of 24, singing Azucena, quickly followed by Delilah and Carmen.  The last of these was the role of her Hamburg debut in 1959, directed by Wieland Wagner.  Her international career quickly expanded.

In Britain she appeared at the 1959 Edinburgh Festival, as a member of her home company.  She had already sung as a guest soloist with the Hallé and LSO.   She returned to Edinburgh in 1963 as a guest with the English Opera Group,  performing a difficult work with apparent ease,  surrounded by an entirely British team.

1960 saw her debut at the New York Met, as Carmen, and at Covent Garden, as Dido in The Trojans.  She subsequently worked regularly in Britain at both the Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne, where she sang in the 1972 British premiere of Einem's The Visit of the Old Lady.

In 1974 she was again a company member when the Swedish Opera returned to the Edinburgh Festival. Her extraordinary performance as the Kostelnička, alongside her colleague Elisabeth Söderström as Jenůfa, prompted Scottish Opera to collaborate with Welsh National in a cycle of five Janáček operas.  Kerstin Meyer returned to Scotland to sing Kabanicha.

Roles in Scotland

Maddalena sister of Sparafucile
Rigoletto 1959
Mamzell Arvidson a fortune-teller (Ulrica)
Masked Ball 1959
Fricka Wotan's estranged wife
Valkyrie 1959
Rossweisse a Valkyrie
Valkyrie 1959
Lucretia wife of Collatinus
Rape of Lucretia 1963
Kostelnička Buryjovka Jenůfa's stepmother
Jenůfa 1974
Marfa Ignatyevna Kabanová a merchant's widow, called Kabanicha
Kátya Kabanová 1979

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