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Gundula Janowitz (b1937)

Gundula Janowitz spent her youth in Graz, Austria, becoming a naturalized Austrian citizen. Following the death of her father, she worked as a shorthand typist, but studied singing at the Styrian Conservatory in Graz with Herbert Thöny. With the financial help of the Wagner Society of Graz, she visited the Bayreuth Festival in 1959 and after being heard by Herbert von Karajan was immediately engaged to sing at the Vienna State Opera in 1960, making her debut as Barbarina / Le nozze di Figaro. She was to be closely associated with this company, of which she became a permanent member in 1962 and a Kammersängerin in 1970, for the next thirty years. Other early roles at Vienna included Pamina / Die Zauberflöte, Dido / Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), Mimì / La Bohème and Marzelline / Fidelio.




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