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Ljuba Welitsch

As a child Welitsch (actual name Velichkova) demonstrated musical talent through singing and playing the violin. She studied singing from 1932 at the Sofia Conservatory with Gyorgy Zlater- Cherkin; during this period she sang in the chorus of the Sofia Opera and appeared in small roles in Louise and Boris Godunov. After undertaking further study from 1935 with Theo Lierhammer at the Vienna Music Academy she graduated in 1937 and joined the Graz Municipal Opera, making her debut there as Helmwige / Die Walküre.

Graz’s ten-month season enabled Welitsch to develop her operatic skills and repertoire considerably: roles she sang there included Desdemona / Otello, Fiordiligi / Così fan tutte, Mimì / La Bohème, Sophie / Der Rosenkavalier and the title parts of Madama Butterfly and Manon Lescaut. In 1941 she left Graz for Hamburg, but at the same time was active in Dresden, where she sang Saffi / Der Zigeunerbaron, Esmeralda / Notre Dame and Marie / The Bartered Bride during 1941 and 1942. She also appeared as a guest in Sofia, Graz and in Munich with the Bavarian State Opera, where she made her debut in 1942 as Butterfly. She moved from Hamburg to Munich in 1943, remaining there until 1946.




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