Personalities | Jenny Lind | Early Romantic | Opera
The soprano Jenny Lind was nicknamed ‘the Swedish nightingale’ because of her fresh, pure voice. She sang as a child performer before making her operatic debut in Stockholm in 1838 as Agathe in Weber’s Der Freischütz. In the next three years, Lind sang several demanding roles, including Lucia di Lammermoor and Norma, and her voice began showing signs of strain. She retrained in Paris and returned to Stockholm in 1842, her voice restored. Her Norma in Bellini’s masterpiece was highly praised, as was her Vielke in Meyerbeer’s Ein Feldlager in Schlesien (‘A Field Camp in Silesia’, 1844) – a part that had been written for her. Jenny Lind went on to become a sensation in Germany, Austria and in England where she created the role of Amalia in Verdi’s I masnadieri (1847). In 1850 she travelled to New York, where she made her name immortal. She remains one of the nineteenth century’s most famous prima donnas.
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