Personalities | Pauline Anna Milder-Hauptmann | Early Romantic | Opera
This Austrian soprano studied in Vienna with Antonio Salieri. In 1803, she made her debut in Vienna as Juno in Der Spiegel von Arkadien (‘The Mirror of Arcadia’, 1794) by Franz Xaver Süssmayr (1766–1803), a one-time pupil of Mozart. In 1805 Milder-Hauptmann created the role of Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio. She was, however, dissatisfied with certain ‘unbeautiful, unsingable’ passages in Leonore’s aria and persuaded Beethoven to rewrite them in the later, 1814 version of his opera. Beethoven hoped to write another opera for Milder-Hauptmann, but it never transpired. Milder-Hauptmann, whose powerful voice was ‘like a house’ according to the composer Joseph Haydn (1732–1809), became identified with the role of Leonore. She sang in Berlin in 1812 and 1816–29 before appearing in Vienna. Milder-Hauptmann evinced great nobility on stage and her emotional intensity brought her acclaim in several roles, notably in Christoph Willibald von Gluck’s (1714–87) operas, Iphigénie en Aulide (1774) and Iphigénie en Tauride.
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