versions presented below were adopted with some modifications from
the Google translations.]
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'
Besides Karajan, the German artist has worked with such conductors
as Karl Böhm, Leonard Bernstein, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and
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
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"
- Russian Newspaper
No. 152 (4207) 20.08.2009
Hildegard Behrens has died
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
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
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.
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 -
Opera Star Hildegard Behrens Dies
12:25 Print Text Size: AR
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
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.
SAME AS FOR SLOVAKIAN OBITUARY.