Helen Donath

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Helen Donath
Helen Donath.jpg
Born Helen Jeanette Erwin
(1940-07-10) July 10, 1940 (age 76)
Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S.
Occupation operatic soprano

Helen Jeanette Donath (née Erwin; born July 10, 1940) is an American soprano with a career spanning fifty years.


She was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and studied there at Del Mar College in New York with Paola Novikova. She debuted as a concert and Lieder singer in New York in 1958. In 1961, she became a member of the Opernstudio in Cologne and the Staatsoper Hannover. She met her future husband, choir master and conductor Klaus Donath, in Hanover. Their son, Alexander Donath, is a stage and opera director. In 2000, all three were involved in Michigan Opera Theatre's production of Der Rosenkavalier.[1]

In 1967, she sang Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Salzburg Festival, which began a long association with the festival. From 1970-90, she was a regular member of the Vienna State Opera. She has performed all over the world including at the Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Salzburg Festival, Covent Garden, La Scala, Barcelona, Paris, Florence, Tokyo, Berlin, Munich. In 2006, she had performances as Despina in Così fan tutte at the Vienna State Opera, Salzburg Festival and other places.[citation needed]

Donath performed works of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Schumann, Wagner, Richard Strauss, and has worked and recorded under Herbert von Karajan, Karl Richter, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Rafael Kubelík, Antal Doráti, Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti, Giuseppe Patanè, Daniel Barenboim, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Neville Marriner, Helmuth Rilling, Colin Davis, Eugen Jochum, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Eliahu Inbal. She was awarded in 2005 the Verdienstkreuz I. Klasse des Niedersächsischen Verdienstordens (Order of Merit 1st Class of Lower Saxony), in 1990 the Niedersächsischer Staatspreis (State Prize of Lower Saxony) and made Kammersängerin of Bavaria.[citation needed]


Donath has made many opera and operetta recordings with various companies. Her finest moments on disc include her Eva in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Sophie in Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier.[original research?]

Other recordings


  1. ^ George Bulanda, "S/he loves me (not)", MetroTimes.com, April 19, 2000.

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