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Maria Olszewska (1892 - 1969)

The contralto Maria Olszewska was born in Donauwörth, Bavaria, in 1892. After studying in Munich she sang in Leipzig, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, and Buenos Aires. Following her Covent Garden début in 1924 she sang there regularly for eight years, her gloriously rich, dark voice and dramatic temperament particularly suiting roles such as Erda, Fricka, Brangäne, Azucena, and Octavian. Olszewska's American career began in Chicago in 1928, and she first sang at the Met in 1933, remaining there for three seasons. After the war Olszewska became a professor at the Vienna Conservatory. She died in Klagenfurt, Southern Austria, in 1969.


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