Opera Scotland

Luise Meisslinger Suggest updates

Born 1856.

Austrian mezzo-soprano.

Luise Meisslinger had a wide-ranging career singing at the major German and Austrian houses, as well as at the New York Met. In Britain she worked extensively with Carl Rosa and at Covent Garden.

She studied in Paris with Mathilde Marchesi and Pauline Viardot, making her debut at the Vienna Hofoper in 1880. From 1880 to 1883 she worked at the Mannheim Hofoper. In Vienna from 1893, she began as Amneris, staying until 1886, singing Bizet (Carmen), Gluck (Orfeo), Donizetti (Maffio Orsini), Verdi (Maddalena, Ulrica), Wagner (Schwertleite, Flosshilde) and many other roles. She then had a season at the Hamburg State Opera. She made guest appearances with several opera houses in the German speaking world, including Frankfurt 1880, Brno (Brünn) 1885, Berlin 1886, both Munich and Leipzig 1897, in addition to the Wiesbaden May Festival of 1899.

1887 saw her debut at the New York Met, as Countess Wildenstein in the American premiere of Nessler's Der Trompeter von Säckingen. She returned regularly over the next decade, specialising in Wagnerian roles, including Mary, Venus, Ortrud, Adriano, and Brangäne. Her parts in the Ring included Erda, Fricka, First Norn, Waltraute and Gutrune. She also sang other roles such as Amazily in Spontini's Fernand Cortes and Siébel in Gounod's Faust. For the 1890-91 season she was engaged by Oscar Hammerstein's English Opera Company in New York.

In 1892, she joined the Carl Rosa company on tour in Britain, singing a range of roles including Carmen, Azucena, Amneris, Orpheus and Adriano in Rienzi. She created the part of Madge Wildfire in Jeanie Deans (MacCunn 1894), and also sang the Witch in early performances of Hansel and Gretel. In 1895 she sang at Daly's Theatre, New York with the Augustus Harris Company, playing the Witch in the American premiere of Hansel und Gretel. From 1892-98, she appeared annually at Covent Garden, particularly in Wagnerian parts such as Magdalene. Fricka and Ortrud. She repeated the Witch and added Magdalene in Kienzl's Der Evangelimann. In 1895 she appeared there in the premiere of Cowen's opera Harold.

Updated 6 January 2013.

Sources include: Brangäne A-Z; Vienna State Opera Archive.

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