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Meta Seinemeyer

Biography

Born: September 5, 1895; Berlin, Germany   Died: August 19, 1929; Dresden, Germany  
Despite her short life, Meta Seinemeyer achieved great success as a singer. Her recordings were among the few that Walter Legge recommended his wife, the great Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, listen to as examples of style and lyricism. Her voice was a light dramatic soprano which, if she had lived longer, might have developed into a full dramatic sound capable of singing Brünnhilde and Isolde. Her recordings display an uncanny control of long legato Read more phrases and great dynamic variety.

The daughter of a Berlin police commissioner, Meta Seinemeyer studied voice with Nikolaus Rothmühl and Ernst Grenzebach. Little is known about her early life, but she made her operatic debut in 1918 at the Deutschen Opernhaus Berlin as Euridice in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. She remained under contract there until 1925. However, in 1923 she toured North America with the German Opera Company, the same company which provided Friedrich Schorr with his U.S. debut. She made her New York debut on February 23, 1923, as Eva in Die Meistersinger, and the very next evening sang Elisabeth in Tannhäuser. In November 1924 she sang Marguerite in Gounod's Faust as a guest artist at Dresden; she was offered a contract for the following season and almost immediately became the company's leading light dramatic soprano. Her earliest successes came in Italian opera, in particular Andrea Chénier and La forza del destino. She sang the Duchess of Parma in the premiere of Busoni's Doktor Faust in 1925. In 1926 she toured South America and made a successful debut in Buenos Aires as Agathe in Weber's Der Freischütz and later in performances of Die Meistersinger and Tannhäuser. In 1927, she made her debut in Vienna. In May 1929 she sang Sieglinde at Covent Garden. Later that season in London she also sang in Die Meistersinger and Lohengrin. She was ill at the time she left London and in August 1929 she died of influenza at the age of 34. She was married to conductor and pianist Frieder Weissmann. Read less


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