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(1895-1962) opera singer and a highly regarded Wagnerian soprano.
Year of Birth: 1895
Kirsten Flagstad was a celebrated Norwegian soprano who was active in the operatic and concert repertoire from the early 1930s through the mid-1950s. She is considered one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos of all time.
Flagstad was born in Hamar, Norway on July 12, 1895. She began her music studies at a young age and first performed in public at age 12 in a production of Verdi's Aida. At age 19 she made her professional debut at Oslo's National Theater as Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhäuser. This successful performance led to her being invited to the Vienna State Opera. After two years in Vienna, Flagstad returned to Norway and joined the Trondheim Opera House, where she sang for the next five years.
In 1927, Flagstad made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival as Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre. This performance catapulted her into international fame as one of the greatest Wagnerian singers of her time. She quickly became an international star, making regular appearances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, and the La Scala in Milan. Flagstad was also an accomplished concert singer, performing in recitals and concerts throughout Europe and the United States.
Flagstad was known for her beautiful voice and her ability to convey emotion and drama through her singing. She was a master of Wagner's repertoire, but she was equally adept at performing Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, and Strauss. She was also a recording artist, having made more than 200 recordings throughout her career.
In 1952, Flagstad took a break from the stage and returned to Norway, where she served as the director of the Norwegian National Opera. She returned to the stage in 1954 and continued to perform until her retirement in 1958. She died in Oslo in December 1962.
Kirsten Flagstad is remembered as one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos of all time. Her beautiful voice and masterful interpretation of the operatic and concert repertoire made her an international star. Her legacy lives on through her recordings and the many generations of opera singers she has inspired.
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