Elisabeth Höngen

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Elisabeth Höngen (7 December 1906, Gevelsberg – 7 August 1997, Vienna) was a German operatic mezzo-soprano, particularly associated with Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss roles, and with Verdi's Lady Macbeth.

She studied in Berlin with Hermann Weissenborn, and made her debut in Wuppertal in 1933. She sang in Düsseldorf (1935–39), and in Dresden (1940–43), and then joined the Vienna State Opera, also appearing at the Salzburg Festival and the Bayreuth Festival, quickly establishing herself in roles such as Venus, Ortrud, Fricka, Erda, Waltraute, Herodias, Klytemnestra, Die Amme, Clairon, she also won considerable acclaim as Lady Macbeth, Eboli, Amneris, and Carmen.

She made guest appearances at the Munich State Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, the Paris Opéra, La Scala in Milan, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

She sang the title role in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, and Baba the Turk in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.

Hongen had a rich and powerful voice and was an impressive singing-actress. She retired from the stage in 1971.

Selected recording[edit]

  • 1943 - Macbeth - Mathieu Ahlersmeyer, Elisabeth Hongen, Josef Witt, Herbert Alsen - Vienna State Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Karl Böhm - Cantus Classic (sung in German)