Personalities | Amalie Materna | High Romantic | Opera
Amalie Materna, the Austrian soprano, sang Brünnhilde at the first performance of the complete Der Ring des Nibelungen at Bayreuth in 1876. Wagner was deeply impressed by her performance – so much so that he declared Materna the only woman truly capable of singing the exceptionally demanding role. Materna, a singer of great stamina, made her debut at age 20 at Graz, in Austria, in the rather less exhausting Leichte Kavallerie by Franz von Suppé. She moved to Vienna in 1869, where she sang at the Hofoper until 1894. During that time, she also appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York in 1885, and gained a reputation as a leading Wagnerian soprano of her time. After her first Brünnhilde at Bayreuth in 1876, she also created the role of Kundry, the wild woman and temptress in Wagner’s last opera Parsifal (1882).
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