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Johanna Gadski (1872 - 1932)

Johanna Gadski studied singing at the Stettin High School with Anna Schröder-Chaloupka and when still very young was engaged by the Kroll Opera in Berlin, making her stage debut there in 1889. This was followed by engagements in Stettin, Mainz and Bremen as well as Berlin; her repertoire during this period included Agathe / Der Freischütz, Marguerite / Faust, Pamina / Die Zauberflöte, Berthe / Le Prophète, Donna Elvira / Don Giovanni and parts in the comic operas of Marschner and Lortzing. She also took the role of Bedura in d’Albert’s first opera, Der Rubin, which she sang with the composer conducting. Having married Hans Tauscher, a lieutenant in the German army, in 1892, Gadski had built up enough experience by 1894 to begin to appear internationally, which she did with a concert tour of Holland that year.

She was then invited to tour the USA with the Damrosch Opera Company during 1895 and 1896, making her debut in New York as Elsa / Lohengrin (1895) and creating the role of Hester Prynne in Damrosch’s opera The Scarlet Letter (1896). Other roles included Micaëla / Carmen and Marzellina / Fidelio. She toured again with the Damrosch Company during 1898 and 1899 before appearing for the first time at the Royal Opera House, London as Elisabeth / Tannhauser in 1899. This was followed by her successful debut at the Bayreuth Festival as Eva / Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.




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