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Frida Leider (1888 - 1975)


Although Frida Leider, whose father was a carpenter, was born into a poor family, her parents ensured that she received a good education in the hope that she would become a teacher. Her father’s early death however meant that instead she had to work in a bank, while still determined nonetheless to become a singer. Leider studied singing in her spare time, becoming a pupil in Berlin of Otto Schwarz, and made her operatic stage debut at Halle in 1915 as Venus / Tannhäuser.

Later that same year, she undertook her first Brünnhilde in Nuremberg: for unlike many other large-voiced sopranos, she did not begin with the lyric repertory but wielded a full dramatic instrument from the very beginning. She was at Rostock Opera between 1916 and 1918, at Königsberg for the 1918–1919 season, and between 1919 and 1923 was a member of the Hamburg State Opera, where she sang not only the major Wagner roles, notably Isolde / Tristan und Isolde, but other parts also including the title roles in Aida, Ariadne auf Naxos and Norma, Donna Anna / Don Giovanni, the Countess / Le nozze di Figaro and Leonore / Fidelio.

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