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Lucia Popp (1939 - 1993)

Popp (real name Lucia Poppová) initially studied medicine before turning to acting. Anna Hrusovska- Prosenkova, a voice teacher at the Bratislava Music Academy, happened to hear her singing during a performance of Molière’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, and offered her voice lessons. Popp studied at the Academy for four years, beginning as a mezzo-soprano (although her voice quite suddenly developed a high upper register) and completing courses in general music and vocal studies. She made her debut as the Queen of the Night / Die Zauberflöte at the Bratislava Opera in 1963.

Shortly afterwards Popp sang Barbarina / Le nozze di Figaro at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna and was immediately invited by Herbert von Karajan to appear at the Vienna State Opera singing the same role. Other early roles in Vienna included Karolka / Jenůfa, Marzelline / Fidelio, Adele / Die Fledermaus and the Queen of the Night with which Popp made a big impact, being engaged by Walter Legge to sing this role in the complete recording of Die Zauberflöte conducted by Otto Klemperer, made in 1964. She also made her debut at the Salzburg Festival in 1963 singing the First Boy / Die Zauberflöte and Artemis / Iphigenie in Aulis, followed by Naiad / Ariadne auf Naxos and one of the maids / Elektra in 1964.




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