Personalities | Kirsten Flagstad | Modern Era | Opera
Flagstad began her career singing at Stockholm Opera. She was considering retirement in 1932 when singing the role of Isolde in Oslo, but after her appearance at Bayreuth the following year, her success was immediate; she made her Met debut in 1935 at the age of 40. Following a series of triumphs, Flagstad returned to Norway, her husband’s Nazi collaborations having made her unpopular in America. She then sang four seasons at Covent Garden from 1948 to 1951. Richard Strauss wrote his ‘Four Last Songs’ with her in mind and these were premiered in London, 1950. Flagstad’s long awaited return to the Met did not take place until the 1950–51 season, when she appeared as Brünnhilde (Der Ring des Nibelungen), Isolde (Tristan und Isolde) and Leonore (Fidelio). Her final operatic performance was in Dido and Aeneas at London’s Mermaid Theatre in 1953.
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