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Christa Ludwig (b1928)

Christa Ludwig was born into an extremely operatic family: her father, Anton Ludwig (1888–1957), was first a baritone and then a tenor working in Vienna, and later a theatre and stage director, including a period at Aachen when Karajan was conductor there; her mother, Eugenie Ludwig Besalla (1899–1993) also enjoyed a career as an opera singer, and was a member of the Aachen company during the Karajan era, when she sang a wide range of roles from Senta, Reiza, Elektra and the Fidelio Leonore to Azucena and Ulrica.

By the time Eugenie was forty however she had ruined her voice and had to give up her career. Christa studied initially with her mother (who also taught her piano, flute and cello) and subsequently at the Frankfurt Conservatory and with the soprano Felice Hüni-Mihaček in Munich. She sang informally for the American forces in Germany during 1945 and in 1946 joined the Frankfurt Opera, making her debut as Orlovsky / Die Fledermaus. Ludwig stayed with this company until 1952, when she moved to Darmstadt where she developed her acting skills with Gustav Rudolf Sellner. Two years later she moved with her mother to Hanover. Here Ludwig was able to sing major roles such as the title part in Carmen, Ortrud / Lohengrin and Kundry / Parsifal.




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