Opera Scotland

Elisabeth Grümmer Suggest updates

Elisabeth Schilz.

Born  Niederjeutz (Yutz), Alsace-Lorraine, 31 March 1911.

Died Warendorf, Westphalia, 6 November 1986.

German soprano.

Elisabeth Grümmer was one of the most highly regarded sopranos in the German repertoire through the 1950s. She was particularly noted for her Mozart, Weber, Strauss and the lighter roles of Wagner.

She started her career as an actress at the theatre in Aachen. The chief conductor there from 1934-38 was Herbert von Karajan, and he noticed her operatic potential. Her debut as a singer, in 1940, was in Parsifal as First Flower Maiden. She quickly took on Octavian, which would remain an important part of her repertoire. In 1942 she transferred to the opera house at Duisburg, then in 1946 to the Berlin State Opera (now the Deutsche Oper) where she was based until her retirement in 1972.

She appeared frequently as a guest at other houses, including Vienna, Salzburg, Dresden, Munich and Hamburg. Her first appearance at Bayreuth was as Eva in 1957, and she returned for Elsa, Freia and Gutrune. Her debut at the New York Met in 1967 was as Elsa, and she sang the Marschallin with New York City Opera the same year.

Her British debut, in 1951, was as Eva at Covent Garden. She returned the following year as a guest of the Hamburg company in Edinburgh, singing Pamina, Eva, Octavian and Agathe. She repeated Pamina when the company returned in 1956. Her only other operatic roles in Britain came when she visited Glyndebourne in 1956 for Countess Almaviva and Ilia in Idomeneo.

Roles in Scotland

Agathe Cuno's daughter
Freischütz 1952
Pamina daughter of the Queen of Night
Zauberflöte 1952
Zauberflöte 1956
Eva daughter of Pogner
Mastersingers of Nuremberg 1952
Octavian Count Rofrano
Rosenkavalier 1952

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