Kerstin Meyer

Biography

Born: April 3, 1928; Stockholm, Sweden  
Swedish mezzo-soprano Kerstin Meyer enjoyed a full and rewarding career through great intelligence and with a voice of good, if not quite first-rate, quality. Her instrument, not huge but somewhat dark in coloration, was sometimes betrayed by an uneven and pronounced vibrato. Yet her stage presence was riveting enough to make that issue all but disappear, especially in leading roles of dramatic stature. Meyer was also a persuasive recitalist. Read more

Meyer's studies were extensive, first in Stockholm with Andreyeva von Skoldonz and Arne Sunnegaardh, and later in Salzburg, Rome, Siena, and Vienna. Upon her 1952 debut as Azucena at Stockholm's Royal Opera, she joined the permanent company. When Wieland Wagner's 1959 Hamburg production of Carmen created a stir in the world press, it was as much for Meyer's intellectually dangerous protagonist as for Wagner's innovations. Her attractive, slender appearance and histrionic gifts led to several leading roles in world premieres. In three successive years beginning in 1966, she sang Mrs. Claiborne in Gunther Schuller's The Visitation, Alice in Alexander Goehr's Arden Must Die, and Gertrude in Humphrey Searle's Hamlet, all in the dramatically progressive Hamburg company. Meyer's Dido at Covent Garden in 1960 had been less successful: histrionically, it was compelling, but vocally it was short of poised, classical singing. Still, her career brought even more premieres and growing appreciation among leading conductors. In 1961, Meyer had made herself welcome at the Glyndebourne Festival as Carolina in Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers. She subsequently appeared in roles ranging from Octavia in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea to Clairon in Strauss' Capriccio. In 1966, Meyer was Agave in the world premiere of Henze's The Bassarids at Salzburg. She was chosen for Elisabeth in the 1970 premiere of Nicholas Maw's The Rising of the Moon at Glyndebourne, and in 1973, she sang for Glyndebourne a memorable Old Woman title role in the first English production of Einem's Der Besuch der alten Dame. In the early '60s, Meyer appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, which offered her less dramatically appropriate fare. Her Orfeo, like her London Dido, was found wanting in vocal polish. From 1962 to 1965, she was a regular at the Bayreuth Festival. Meyer's 1962 San Francisco Octavian (to Schwarzkopf's Marschallin) was both well sung and ardently acted. Read less
Browse 1-14 of 14 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Beethoven: 9 Symphonies; Overtures / Cluytens, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 538106 Release Date: 07/31/2020   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Frederick Guthrie,  Kerstin Meyer,  Gré Brouwenstijn,  Nicolai Gedda
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier / Schwarzkopf, Karajan, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 564489 Release Date: 10/27/2017   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Nicolai Gedda,  Eberhard Wächter,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Loughton High School for Girls' Choir,  Bancroft's School Choir
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  • 3.
    Andre Cluytens: The Complete Orchestral & Concerto Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 562261 Release Date: 06/16/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Raoul Laparra,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Monique de la Bruchollerie,  Marcelle Meyer,  Zino Francescatti,  Jeanne-Marie Darré  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire,  Le Grand Orchestre Symphonique Columbia,  Orchestre du Theatre National de l'Opera-Comique  ... 
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  • 4.
    Beethoven: Les 9 Symphonies / Cluytens, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 483032 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Frederick Guthrie,  Kerstin Meyer,  Gré Brouwenstijn,  Nicolai Gedda
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $27.99
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  • 5.
    Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier / Schwarzkopf, Karajan
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 66824 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Eberhard Wächter,  Teresa Stich-Randall,  Kerstin Meyer,  Erich Majkut  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Loughton Girls School Chorus,  Philharmonia Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Puccini: Il Trittico / Albrecht, Bruson, Zschau, Atlantov
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 768093 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Kerstin Meyer,  Pilar Lorengar,  Margarita Lilova,  Sona Ghazarian  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerd Albrecht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Best Karajan 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15206 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Bernard Walton,  Dennis Brain,  Lothar Koch,  Maurice André  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 8.
    Penderecki: Utrenja; Persichetti: Symphony No 9 / Ormandy
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 38303 Release Date: 01/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Krzysztof Penderecki,  Vincent Persichetti
    Performer:  Peter Lagger,  Seth McCoy,  Kerstin Meyer,  Stefania Woytowicz  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Temple University Concert Choir,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 9.
    Strauss: Arabella, Four Last Songs / Keilberth, Della Casa, Fischer-dieskau
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 651053 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Georg Stern,  Lisa Della Casa,  Kurt Ruesche,  Anneliese Rothenberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 10.
    Henze: Die Bassariden / Dohnányi, Paskalis, Lagger, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 605032 Release Date: 05/25/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hans Werner Henze
    Performer:  Ingeborg Hallstein,  Kostas Paskalis,  Peter Lagger,  Helmut Melchert  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    CD: $24.99
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  • 11.
    Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier / Karajan, Schwarzkopf, Ludwig
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67609 Release Date: 09/11/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Anny Felbermayer,  Nicolai Gedda,  Paul Kuen  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Chorus,  Bancroft School Boys' Choir,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    R. Strauss: Elektra / Mitropoulos, Borkh, Della Casa, Et Al
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 456972 Release Date: 01/25/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Inge Borkh,  Jean Madeira,  Lisa Della Casa,  Max Lorenz  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    CD: $24.99
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  • 13.
    Elisabeth Söderström & Kerstin Meyer / Jan Eyron
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 17 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gunnar Wennerberg,  Erik Gustaf Geijer,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Eyron,  Kerstin Meyer,  Elisabeth Söderström
    CD: $19.99
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  • 14.
    Verdi: Rigoletto / Ehrling, Gedda, Hallin, Hasslo, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 296 Release Date: 01/04/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Kerstin Meyer,  Barbro Ericson,  Georg Svedenbrandt,  Anders Näslund  ... 
    Conductor:  Sixten Ehrling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Opera Chorus,  Royal Stockholm Opera Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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