Hilde Konetzni

Biography

Born: March 21, 1905; Vienna, Austria   Died: April 20, 1980; Vienna, Austria  
The younger (by three years), and by a fair margin more famous, of the two Konetzni sisters (both well-known singers), Hilde Konetzni was born in Vienna in late March 1905. Like her sister, she studied voice at the Vienna Conservatory and then took private lessons in Prague for a while before her 1929 debut at the Chemnitz Opera; there she sang the role of Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre, while her sister Anny sang the role of Brünnhilde. She Read more was hired for regular appearances by the German Theater in Prague in 1932, and in 1936 she joined the roster of regulars at the Vienna Staatsoper. From this home base she gradually conquered the major houses of Europe -- La Scala, Covent Garden, Milan, Salzburg -- and the United States.

Hilde Konetzni is generally regarded as having had a somewhat smaller but perhaps more refined voice than her elder sister. She thus felt entirely at home in Mozart, and Covent Garden audiences in particular enjoyed her Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni efforts. She was still able to build a reputation as a first-rate exponent of Richard Strauss and Wagner roles, however -- Sieglinde in the Ring and Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, especially. Her sister retired in 1955, but Hilde continued performing well into the 1960s, though not perhaps with the same authority that marked her earlier work. In 1954, she joined the faculty of the Vienna Academy. The younger Konetzni died on April 20, 1980, having survived her sister by 12 years. Read less