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Leonie Rysanek (1926 - 1998)

Leonie Rysanek, whose father was of Czech descent, studied with her younger sister Lotte (her own first name was a contraction of ‘Leopoldine’) at the Vienna Academy of Music, where her teachers included Alfred Jerger and Rudolf Grossmann. She made her operatic stage debut in 1949 at Innsbruck as Agathe / Der Freischütz and between 1950 and 1952 was a member of the Saarbrücken Opera.

Here Rysanek was spotted by Wieland Wagner, who invited her to sing Sieglinde / Die Walküre at the reopening of the Bayreuth Festival in 1951. Having now attracted international attention, she returned to Bayreuth to sing Sieglinde (1958, 1965–1969), Elsa / Lohengrin (1958), Senta / Der fliegende Holländer (1959, 1969–1970), Elisabeth / Tannhäuser (1964–1966) and Kundry / Parsifal (1982–1983).




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