Tributes, Homages & Obituaries - EASTERN EUROPE: FAREWELL to a LEGEND...
In Memoriam: Hildegard Behrens
[English versions presented below were adopted with some modifications from the Google translations.]

HUNGARY:



http://www.kulturpart.hu/zene/14510/meghalt_hildegard_behrens

Death of Hildegard Behrens

The internationally known German soprano Hildegard Behrens, has died in Japan en route to a music festival near Tokyo where the 72-year old was a guest artist.

Behrens died in a Tokyo hospital on Tuesday, probably from an aneurysm, according to the festival spokesman. The singer, who performed in the world's major opera houses, was especially well-known for her roles in the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.

Hildegard Behrens was born to a musical family on February 9, 1937, the youngest of six children. As a child she studied piano and violin, but after high school she enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Freiburg. Her singing career began in 1972 in Düsseldorf singing some of the smaller roles. After listening to her during a rehearsal in 1977, Maestro Herbert von Karajan immediately offered her the starring role in Strauss's Salome at the Salzburg Festival. Thus started Behrens' international career.

Besides Karajan, the German artist has worked with such conductors as Karl Böhm, Leonard Bernstein, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Lorin Maazel.


Rumania:

http://newsru.ua/rest/19aug2009/berens.html

Famous German Opera Singer Hildegard Behrens Dies of Aneurysm
Last update: August 19, 2009, 15:08

Hildegard Behrens, the famous opera singer and one of the most beautiful sopranos in the world, died in Tokyo at the age of 72 years while travelling in Japan, the RIA Novosti announced, referring to reports by the Associated Press.

According to information received by the agency from Jonathan Friend,Artistic Administrator of New York's Metropolitan Opera Behrens felt ill while visiting a small town near Tokyo, and then was immediately taken to a hospital where she soon died. It is assumed that the cause of death was aneurysm. Her funeral will be held in Vienna on a still unspecified date.

Behrens was born in 1937 in Varel in Lower Saxony. She earned a law degree, but in 1971 she made her debut on stage performing in "Le Nozze di Figaro" in Freiburg, says OpenSpace.ru.

Behrens gained popularity in the mid 70's, when Herbert von Karajan noticed her and invited to sing at the Salzburg Festival. Subsequently, Behrens worked with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Her best roles are Brünhilde Der Ring des Nibelungen, Isolde in Tristan and Isolde, and Elektra. She also sang the other works of Richard Strauss, as well as operas by Weber, Leoš Janácek and performed the role of Katerina Ismailova in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Shostakovich.

Behrens was honored with many prestigious awards, including the Sonning Prize and multiple Grammys. In the 1990s, she was named "Singer of the Year" by the German magazines "Opernwelt" and "Orpheus".



RUSSIA:

KOMMERSANT - Russian Newspaper
No. 152 (4207) 20.08.2009

Wagner's Voice
Hildegard Behrens has died

OBITUARY

The famous German opera singer Hildegard Behrens has died in Tokyo. She had gone to Japan, to conduct master classes at a music festival, but suddenly felt unwell and was hospitalized in a Tokyo hospital, where she died - probably from an aneurysm. The prima donna, discovered by Herbert von Karajan, who was considered one of the foremost Wagnerian singers of her generation, was 72 years old

She was born in the North German town of Varel, the sixth child in a family of doctors. Music and singing engaged her since childhood, but at the time it seemed that this was done only to entertain the family - her parents and guests, as the main business of the singer's future life was to be the Law. She did finish her law studies at the University of Freiburg, when she was twenty-six years old and still deciding whether to try her hand at classical vocal studies.

The try-out become four years of study at the Freiburg College of Music, during which Behrens was really persistent: her teacher, recognizing the natural beauty of the student’s voice, was initially skeptical of her viability as a professional opera performer. Behrens made her stage debut (as the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro) in 1971 when she was thirty-four, and at the same time joined the opera studio in Dusseldorf's Deutsche Oper am Rhein. During one of her first assignments in this period - Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck - who showed up in Dusseldorf but Herbert von Karajan, who praised her, and immediately pursued a career with the young singer.

In 1976 she made her debut at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera, and in 1977 sang at the Salzburg Festival in the title role of Salome by Richard Strauss under Karajan. This was the role that the conductor had first envisioned for Hildegard Behrens five years earlier. This role, along with Strauss's Elektra, quickly turned her into an opera star of global importance, and remained for many years one of the crowning glories of the singer’s repertoire.

Her dramatic soprano which was deployed in force on the heaviest parts in the operatic literature, could nevertheless sound surprisingly loud, radiant and effortless. Aside from the purely technical side of her operatic vocal production, Behrens also paid enormous attention to the theatrical interpretation, and in general did great work on shaping the characters of her heroines. She did not always agree with the stage directors, but her magnetism and the dramatic power of her stage work were such that the public and critics alike choked on the superlatives. This was especially true of her Wagnerian roles, particularly Isolde and Brünnhilde: she was thought to be one of the most spectacular performers of these roles in the past century, the best Brünnhilde of the period after Birgit Nilsson left the scene.

Although the golden times of her career were the eighties, she continued to work in the nineties and the beginning of the millennium - singing on the operatic stage the works of Wagner, Richard Strauss, Puccini, Beethoven, Janacek, as well as in concert with the major orchestras. But perhaps the last really big event of her career was the premiere at the Salzburg Festival, exactly ten years ago of the opera Cronaca del Luogo by Luciano Berio, which the composer had written specifically for her - one of the last operas of the century symbolically completing a brilliant career in opera that started in the 20th century.

Sergey b-Khodnev



Serbia:

Opera singer Hildegard Behrens Dies

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 12:56

TOKYO - Soprano Hildegard Behrens, one the greatest performers of the Wagnerian repertoire of her generation died at age 72 during a trip to Japan.

Jonathan Friend, artistic administrator of New York's Metropolitan Opera, said that Hildegard Behrens became ill while traveling to a festival near Tokyo and was taken to a hospital in the capital of Japan where she died, from a likely aneurysm. According to the Japanese Association of Musicians, the opera diva was hospitalized Sunday night and died Tuesday.

Hildegard Behrens whose career lasted more than three decades was considered one of the best actresses of the operatic stage. She gave 171 performances at the Metropolitan Opera where her most successful years were in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and where she last sang in 1999. Considered the best Brünnhilde following the Birgit Nilsson era, she also received acclaim for her performances in such operas as Idomeneo, Tristan and Isolde, Don Giovanni, Cavaleria rusticana, Elektra, Salome and Tosca. (Beta - AP)



SLOVAKIA:



http://kultura.sme.sk/c/4980772/zomrela-nemecka-sopranistka-hildegard-behrens.html

Opera Star Hildegard Behrens Dies
August 19, 12:25 Print Text Size: AR

Hildegard Behrens has died. A famous opera singer and one of the most beautiful sopranos in the world, she died at the age of 72 years while traveling in Japan.

The Associated Press said that according to Jonathan Friend, artistic director of New York's Metropolitan Opera, the singer felt uneasy while visiting a small town near Tokyo, and was immediately transported to the hospital where she died, likely from an aneurysm. Burial will be held in Vienna.

The famous singer was born on February 9, 1937 in the German city of Varel (Lower Saxony) to a parents who were both family physicians.

Behrens, who often performed roles written for dramatic soprano, will be remembered by audiences for her performances of operas by Richard Wagner, Karl Weber, Richard Strauss.

In 1990 she received three Grammy awards for best opera recording (in the role of Brünnhilde role in Wagner's Die Walküre). In the late 1990s she was named "Singer of the Year" by the German magazines Opernwelt and Orpheus.



Ukraine:

http://ua.korrespondent.net/showbiz/939629

TRANSLATION SAME AS FOR SLOVAKIAN OBITUARY.

HILDEGARD BEHRENS: she makes music worth seeing!

PROFILE     PORTRAITS     PERFORMANCES     DISCOGRAPHY     AWARDS     QUOTES
BRÜNNHILDE     ELEKTRA      SALOME      FIDELIO     ISOLDE     MARIE     SENTA
THE KOSTELNICKA      THE WOMAN 'R'       KUNDRY     DIE LUSTIGE WITWE

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HILDEGARD BEHRENS
supersoprano*

Saddened by her passing,
we celebrate her life.

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(in English, German, Spanish, French, or Italian)

* ...a super soprano in almost every sense."
- New York Times
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~~~
OVATION:
Elektra

Brünnhilde


PAUSE / STOP
Opening music



LISTEN / WATCH!
(Thanks to all who posted media
on YouTube and allowed
embedding of same.)

Excerpts from:

"Dich teure Halle"
-Tannhäuser

Immolation scene
-Götterdämmerung

Final scene
- Salome

"Allein, weh ganz allein" 
"Orest!"
- Elektra


"Mild und Leise"
-Tristan Und Isolde

"Jojohoe"
- Der fliegende Holländer

"Komm, Hoffnung"
-Fidelio

"Wiegenlied"
- Wozzeck

"Bien, mon fils!"
- Guercouer

Aria from Jenufa
- Behrens as the Kostelnicka


Aria from Cronaca del luogo
- Behrens as the Woman "R"


"Und ob die Wolke sie verhulle"
- Der Freischutz

"Es gibt ein Reich"
- Ariadne auf Naxos


"Song to the Moon"
-Rusalka
(sung in German)


"Da liegt nun der gute Topf..."
-as the Mother in Hansel und Gretel


"Ein Handwerk verstehst..."

-as the Dyer's Wife in
Die Frau ohne Schatten


"Seit ich ihn gesehen"
- from Schumann's
Frauenliebe und Leben


"Bist du bei mir"


"Träume"
( Monte Carlo 1978)
- from Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder


"Leb wohl"
- sung by James Morris



  VIDEOS

METROPOLITAN OPERA:
IMMOLATION SCENE-
GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG

DIE WALKÜRE - Act3

BAVARIAN STATE OPERA:
DIE WALKÜRE - Act2
DIE WALKÜRE - Act3
FINAL DUET - SIEGFRIED
DUET -GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG


ELEKTRA
"ALLEIN, WEH GANZ ALLEIN"
MET

TRIER ANTIKENSPIELE
TEATRO COLON


"OREST!" - MET
"OREST!" - PARIS OPERA
FINAL SCENE - MET



"Liebestod"
- from 1981 recording with
Leonard Bernstein, cond.
TRISTAN UND ISOLDE



"Vissi d'arte"
TOSCA - MET


Elettra's aria
IDOMENEO - MET


Kusatsu Festival /
Japan 2007:

PIERROT LUNAIRE
MASTERCLASS

MITTERNACHTSTÜCK
BEETHOVEN FESTSIPELE- BONN
BERLIN


BEHRENS on the PASSING
of PAVAROTTI


BEHRENS on HER TOSCA
with PAVAROTTI


BEHRENS on the MET's
100th ANNIVERSARY (1983)



CURRENTLY STREAMING:
- FREE and under license from OPERA TODAY:
FIDELIO
with HILDEGARD BEHRENS,
KARL BÖHM conducting

(includes complete libretto)



A PARTIAL DISCOGRAPHY

The Very Best of
HILDEGARD BEHRENS


Götterdämmerung

Die Walküre

Salome

Elektra-Boston Symphony

ELEKTRA -Montpellier

FIDELIO (Böhm)

FIDELIO
(Solti)

WOZZECK

MORE - CDs/DVDs



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
by HILDEGARD BEHRENS


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