Birgit Nilsson

Biography

Born: May 17, 1918; Västra Karups, Sweden   Died: December 25, 2005; Västra Karups, Sweden  
The vocal talents of Birgit Nilsson were first recognized when began to sing in her church choir. She studied voice with Ragnar Blennow in Bastad and later at the Royal Music Academy Stockholm with Joseph Hislop and Arne Sunnegard. She made her opera debut at Stockholm where her first important role was Agatha in Der Freischütz, and in 1947 she sang Lady Macbeth in Verdi's Macbeth there. Her first important international appearance came in 1951 Read more as Elettra in Mozart's Idomeneo at the Glyndebourne Festival. In 1952, she sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Florence. Her first important appearances in Wagner operas came in 1953 at Stockholm where she sang Elisabeth in Tannhäuser and Isolde for the first time. This marked the start of the most important Wagnerian career of the second half of the twentieth century. The following year she made her Bayrueth debut as Elsa in Lohengrin and in the same season sang Ortlinde in Die Walküre. She later appeared there as Isolde and as Brunnhilde. It was in Munich during the 1954-1955 season that she first sang Brunnhilde in Wagner's Das Ring der Nebelungen and during the same season she sang her first Salome. In 1957, she sang the complete Ring cycle in London. At the Vienna State Opera she was heard as Elsa, Sieglinde, Elisabeth, Aida, and Sent. In 1957 she sang Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio and the following season sang her first Turandot. She was also highly regarded for her interpretations of Elektra and the Barak's Wife in Die Frau ohne Schatten. Her other important Italian roles were Tosca, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera and Aida. She sang at all of the major opera centers of the world including Tokyo, Paris, Buenos Aires, Chicago, San Francisco, and Hamburg. Also she sang Turandot in Moscow with the Teatro alla Scala. At the age of 62, a performance of Strauss' Elektra was videotaped at the Metropolitan Opera House and broadcast around the world.

Because of her full schedule of opera performances, Nilsson did not sing in many concerts or recitals although early in her career she did sing the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven on several occasions including one at Bayreuth. She did give some recitals including tours of Australia and Japan as well the major music centers of Europe and North America. Her recital programs concentrated on the German and Scandinavian songs, including some rarely heard pieces by Stenhammar. She often sang "I Could Have Danced All Night" as an encore.

The voice of Birgit Nilsson was like a laser beam that cut through the orchestra, unlike the voice of Kirsten Flagstad or Jessye Norman which are like a wall of sound. It was a large voice with such brilliance that at times it gave the sensation of being sharp of the intended pitch. She was a congenial colleague except for her long standing difficulties with Franco Corelli regarding the length of the high Cs in Puccini's Turandot and with Herbert von Karjan. Happily all of her important roles have been preserved on recordings. As long as the operas of Wagner are performed, the voice of Birgit Nilsson will be remembered, and no one has sung Puccini's Turandot with more brilliance or security. Her autobiography, Mina minnesbilder, was published in 1977 at Stockholm. Read less
Birgit Nilsson - Bell Telephone Hour 1961-1967
Release Date: 03/28/2006   Label: Video Artists International  
Catalog: 4364   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $29.95
DVD: $27.99
In Stock
On sale!   $29.95   DVD:  $27.99 Add DVD to Cart

Hans Knappertsbusch At The Wiener Festwochen, 1962 / Nilsson, Backhaus
Release Date: 08/30/2011   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 107347   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $19.99
DVD: $16.99
In Stock
On sale!   $19.99   DVD:  $16.99 Add DVD to Cart

Browse 26-50 of 119 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4 5
  • 26.
    Richard Strauss: Complete Operas
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002013902 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 33
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Cäcilie Reich,  Eva Maria Rogner,  Ira Malaniuk  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Karl Böhm,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $175.98
    CD: $167.49
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $175.98   CD:  $167.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 27.
    Music Of Steel - Heroic Themes From The Movies
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001871502 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Williams,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Helen Watts,  Brigitte [Mezzo-Soprano Vocal] Fassbaender,  Helga [Soprano Vocal] Dernesch,  Vera Schlosser  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Sir Georg Solti,  Stanley Black,  Antal Doráti  ... 
    CD: $14.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 28.
    Great Wagner Singers [6-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826302 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Sieglinde Wagner,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Wilhelm Pitz,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Kraus  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
    CD: $39.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $39.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 29.
    Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde / Bohm, Windgassen, Et Al
    Label: Myto Records   Catalog: 328 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Wolfgang Windgassen,  Birgit Nilsson,  Kerstin Meyer,  Eberhard Wächter  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
    CD: $14.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 30.
    Weber: Der Freischutz / Heger, Gedda, Nilsson, Koth, Berry
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 235482 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Dieter Weller,  Birgit Nilsson,  Erika Köth,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Heger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 31.
    Verdi: The Great Operas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 167452 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Anne Edwards,  Matteo Manuguerra,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Renata Scotto  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  James Levine,  Tullio Serafin,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus  ... 
    CD: $97.49
    Low Stock
    CD:  $97.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 32.
    Beethoven - The Orchestral Recordings / Klemperer
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 404275 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Aase Nordmo-Lövberg,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Hans Hotter,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $62.49
    In Stock
    CD:  $62.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 33.
    Solti conducts The Strauss Operas
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001746102 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Waldemar Kmentt,  Hilde Gueden,  Eberhard Wächter,  Wilhelm Lenninger  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $85.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $85.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 34.
    Solti conducts the Verdi Operas
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001746202 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Jon Vickers,  Robert Merrill,  Rita Gorr,  Leontyne Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $103.49
    Low Stock
    CD:  $103.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 35.
    Solti Conducts The Wagner Operas [36-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001746302 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 36
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Werner Krenn,  Isola Jones,  Janis Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $127.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $127.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 36.
    Wagner: Tristan und Isolde / Solti, Nilsson, Uhl, Resnik
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001728102 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Theodore Kirschbichler,  Fritz Uhl,  Ernst Kozub,  Tom Krause  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus
    CD: $26.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $26.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 37.
    Voices Of German Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40497 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Natalie Dessay,  Edda Moser,  Kurt Moll,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Louis Langrée,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Berislav Klobucar,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 38.
    Voices of Italian Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40509 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Edita Gruberova,  Margherita Carosio,  Francesco Meli  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Evelino Pidň  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 39.
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 184 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo [Tenor Vocals] Bergonzi,  Ettore Bastianini,  Antonietta [Soprano Vocals] Stella,  Giulietta Simionato  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Tullio Serafin,  John Pritchard  ... 
    CD: $39.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $39.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 40.
    Puccini: Turandot / Gavazzeni, Nilsson, Corelli, Teatro Alla Scala 1964
    Label: La Scala   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Nicola Zaccaria,  Renato Capecchi,  Birgit Nilsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
    CD: $39.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $39.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 41.
    Opera 2012
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001675802 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Umberto Giordano,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Anna Netrebko,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Fabio Luisi,  Antonio Pappano,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    CD: $21.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $21.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 42.
    The Decca Sound - Highlights
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001620002 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Béla Bartók,  Benjamin Britten,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Franco Capuana,  István Kertész,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir  ... 
    On sale! $39.99
    Import CD
    $36.99
    Back Order
    On sale!   $39.99   CD:  $36.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 43.
    Wagner: Die Walkure / Leinsdorf, Nilsson, Vickers, London
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 430391 Release Date: 11/03/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Jon Vickers,  Julia Malyon,  Gré Brouwenstijn  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $36.99
    ArkivCD $34.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $36.99   ArkivCD:  $34.99 Add to Cart

  • 44.
    J. Strauss, Jr.: Die Fledermaus / Karajan, Gueden, Kmentt, Resnik
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 2018 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz Lehár,  Louis Ferrari,  Frederick Loewe  ... 
    Performer:  Waldemar Kmentt,  Erika Köth,  Walter Berry,  Erich Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 45.
    Hans Knappertsbusch At The Wiener Festwochen, 1962 / Nilsson, Backhaus
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107347 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $19.99
    DVD: $16.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $19.99   DVD:  $16.99 Add DVD to Cart

  • 46.
    The Opera Album 2011
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001566102 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn [Bass-Baritone Vocal] Terfel,  Anna Netrebko,  Andrea Bocelli,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Gianandrea Noseda,  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
    CD: $21.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $21.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 47.
    Wagner: Die Walkure / Nilsson, Vickers, Rysanek, Stewart, Metropolitan Opera
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 85308 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Thomas Stewart,  Jon Vickers,  Christa Ludwig,  Birgit Nilsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Berislav Klobucar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $23.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $23.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 48.
    Best Puccini 50
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48479 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Giorgio [Bass Vocal] Tadeo,  Carlo [Tenor Vocals] Bergonzi,  Maria Callas,  Renato Ercolani  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prętre,  Gabriele Santini,  Bruno Bartoletti,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 49.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni / Leinsdorf, Siepi, Price, Nilsson
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 444594 Release Date: 03/04/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Leontyne Price,  Birgit Nilsson,  Cesare Valletti,  Cesare Siepi  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    On sale! $36.99
    ArkivCD $34.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $36.99   ArkivCD:  $34.99 Add to Cart

  • 50.
    Essential Puccini
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07139 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus,  Mirella Freni,  Nicolai Gedda,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Thomas Schippers,  Antonio Pappano,  Anton Guadagno  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

1 2 3 4 5