Opera Scotland

Therese Tietjens Suggest updates

Carolina Johanna Alexandra Tietjens;  Madlle Titiens.

Born Hamburg, 17 July 1831.

Died London, 3 October 1877.

German soprano.

Therese Tietjens was one of the leading dramatic sopranos of her generation, and spent much of her career in Britain, where the form of spelling as Titiens was frequently adopted.

Tietjens studied in Hamburg (with Schmidt) then in Vienna (under Dellessie and Babing. Her debut was in 1848 at Hamburg (Erma in Auber's Le Maçon). She sang the lead in Lucrezia Borgia at Altona the following year.

Her early career was spent at major houses - Frankfurt (1850-53) and Vienna (1853-9). At Frankfurt she sang Louise at the premiere of Die Opernprobe (Lortzing 1851). Tietjens also appeared in Brno, Paris and Naples. Her American debut was at the New York Academy of Music in 1874.

Her first appearance in Britain was in London (Her Majesty's) in 1858 as Valentine (Les Huguenots).  She took up permanent residence in London until her death, singing at the three major opera houses - Her Majesty's, Drury Lane and Covent Garden.  Tietjens also toured widely around Britain, singing opera in the major cities, as well as in concert parties elsewhere.  She appeared in the first British performances of operas by Cherubini (Medea); Nicolai (Mrs Ford);  Verdi (Les vêpres siciliennes, Un ballo in maschera, La forza del destino); Gounod (Faust, Mireille) and Balfe (Edith Il Talismano).

Tietjens was recognized as a particularly effective and dramatic performer as Medea, Norma and Lucrezia Borgia (which was the role of her final appearance a few months before her death from cancer). She was also admired in parts by Gluck (Iphigenia); Mozart (Konstanze, Countess, Donna Anna, Pamina);  Beethoven (Leonore);  Weber (Agathe, Reiza);  Rossini (Semiramide);  Donizetti (Anna Bolena, Lucia, Leonora La favorite);  Meyerbeer ( Alice, Valentine, Fidès);  Flotow (Lady Harriet);  Verdi (Giselda I lombardi, Elvira Ernani,,Leonora Il trovatore) and Wagner (Ortrud).

(Sources: New Grove Dictionary of Opera; Oxford Dictionary of Opera; and various Scottish media).

Roles in Scotland

Valentine daughter of Saint-Bris
Huguenots 1859
Huguenots 1873
Huguenots 1874
Norma High Priestess of the druid temple
Norma 1859
Norma 1861
Donna Lucrezia Borgia
Lucrezia Borgia 1859
Lucrezia Borgia 1861
Lady Harriet Durham Maid of Honour to Queen Anne
Martha 1859
Leonora a Duchess, lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Aragon
Trovatore 1859
Trovatore 1861
Trovatore 1874
Lucia Lucy Ashton, Henry's Sister
Lucia di Lammermoor 1861
Faust 1865
Pamina daughter of the Queen of Night
Zauberflöte 1869
Anna Bolena Anne Boleyn, second Queen to Henry VIII
Anna Bolena 1872
Agathe Cuno's daughter
Freischütz 1873
Léonor the King's mistress
Favorite 1873
Reiza daughter of Haroun el Raschid
Oberon 1873
Donna Anna the Commendatore's daughter
Don Giovanni 1873
Countess Almaviva
Nozze di Figaro 1874
Edith Plantagenet
Talisman 1874

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