Helen Donath

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

Helen Donath
Helen Donath.jpg
Born Helen Jeanette Donath (née Erwin)
(1940-07-10) July 10, 1940 (age 74)
Corpus Christi, Texas
United States


She was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and studied at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi and with Paola Novikova in New York.

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. In Hanover, she met her husband, the choir master and conductor Klaus Donath. Their son Alexander 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 to 1990, 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.

Donath performed works of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Schumann, Richard Strauss, and has worked and recorded under 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 and Herbert von Karajan.

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.


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.

Other recordings


  1. ^ "S/he loves me (not)" by George Bulanda, Metro Times (19 April 2000)

External links[edit]