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Lotte Lehmann (1888 - 1976)

Lotte Lehmann, one of the most illustrious sopranos of the 20th century, was born in Perleberg, Germany in 1888. Although the environment in which the young Lotte was reared was a musical one, her father, a civil servant, did not look favorably upon the prospect of his daughter becoming a professional singer. Lotte persisted, however, in her desire to become an opera singer, and, after some vocal coaching setbacks, commenced proper studies with Mathilde Mallinger in 1908, which lead to her début at the Hamburg Opera in 1910, and her remarkable career that followed. 1914 was a propitious year in the rising star’s life, as in addition to her work in Hamburg, she made her first appearances at the Vienna State Opera and in London at Drury Lane, and also recorded for the first time.

In 1916, Lehmann became an official member of the Vienna State Opera, débuting as Agathe in Weber’s Der Freischütz, and would remain intimately associated with the company for many years. In 1924, she sang, for the first time, at London’s Covent Garden, and was a consistent presence there until 1939, as she was at the annual Salzburg Festivals from 1926 to 1937. She made her début in America in 1930 at the Chicago Opera, and in 1934 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, both times as Sieglinde.



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