Opera Scotland

Jenny Lind Suggest updates

Johanna Lind (Mrs Otto Goldschmidt).

Born Stockholm, 6 October 1820.

Died Malvern, 2 November 1887.

Swedish soprano.

Jenny Lind is certainly one of the most noted singers of the Victorian era, famously known as 'the Swedish Nightingale'. Her career in opera was actually brief and she spent her later years touring in concert parties.

After her studies in Stockholm her first appearance, as Agathe in Der Freischütz, came in 1838. Her technique still required further study, so after three years in Stockholm and a brief, unsuccessful, period in Paris, she retrained with Manuel Garcia. He was a famous teacher, whose own voice faded early. He was the son of the tenor Garcia (creator of several Rossini roles including Almaviva) and brother of both Maria Malibran and Pauline Viardot. The younger man taught initially in Paris before moving to London.

Lind's career resumed in Berlin, where she sang Norma in 1844 and appeared as Katherine in Meyerbeer's Ein Feldlager in Schlesien, which was ten years later rewritten for Paris as L'Etoile du Nord. For the next three years she enjoyed huge success in Germany, Sweden and Austria, before being lured to London by Benjamin Lumley, the impresario in charge of the opera at Her Majesty's. He commissioned Verdi to compose Amalia in I masnadieri for her (it was recognised that the subject first considered, Lady Macbeth, would have been unsuitable both vocally and dramatically). Her operatic farewell came in 1849, as Alice in Robert le Diable.

She married the pianist and conductor Otto Goldschmidt in 1852, and her subsequent career was in concert and oratorio, raising huge sums for good causes - the ticket prices being suitably exorbitant.

Roles in Scotland

Amina an orphan, raised by Teresa
Sonnambula 1848
Lucia Lucy Ashton, Henry's Sister
Lucia di Lammermoor 1848
Marie a foundling
Daughter of the Regiment 1848

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