Jean Madeira

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jean Madeira, 1966
Jean Madeira, 1966

Jean Madeira, née Jean Browning (born November 14, 1918, in Centralia, Illinois; died on July 10, 1972, in Providence, Rhode Island) was an American contralto, particularly known for her work in late-romantic German repertoire such as the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.

When she was a child her family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois, where she attended the high school, and she later studied at the Juilliard School in New York City. She made her debut in opera in Chatauqua, as Nancy in Martha, by Flotow. In 1955, the singer and actress successfully sang the title role in Carmen with the Vienna State Opera. She sang approximately 300 times at the Metropolitan Opera in forty-one roles, between 1948 and 1971. Her last appearance there was in Elektra, opposite Birgit Nilsson and Leonie Rysanek.[1][3] Jean Madeira was a second-cousin of the composer Amy Beth Kirsten.[2]

Abridged Discography[edit]

  • Bizet: Carmen as Carmen (Filacuridi; Dervaux, 1957) Pathé
  • Britten: Peter Grimes (Jon Vickers; 1967) Immortal Performances
  • Falla: Three Cornered Hat (Vienna Symphony) Tuxedo Music
  • Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro as Marcellina (Siepi, Conner, Valdengo, de los Angeles; Met, Fritz Reiner, 1952) Myto
  • Pochielli: La Gioconda as La Cieca (Milanov, Warren, Barbieri, Siepi; Met, Cleva, 1953) Gala
  • Puccini: Madama Butterfly as Suzuki (Steber, Tucker, Valdengo; Met, Rudolf, 1949) Sony
  • Puccini: Manon Lescaut (Kirsten, J.Björling, Valdengo; Met, Antonicelli, 1949) Myto
  • Saint-Saëns: Samson et Delilah as Delilah (Del Monaco; Teatro di San Carlo, Molinari-Pradelli, 1959) Hardy Classic
  • Strauss: Elektra as Clytemnestra (Borkh, Schech, Uhl, Fischer-Dieskau; Böhm, 1960) DG
  • Strauss: Elektra, as Clytemnestra (Nilsson, Rysanek, Nagy, Stewart; Met, Bohm, 1971) Met On Demand
  • Verdi: Aida as Amneris (Rysanek, London, Frick, Hopf; Vienna State Opera, Kubelik, 1955) Orfeo
  • Verdi: Requiem (Vienna Symphony, Erich Kleiber 1955) Melodram
  • Verdi: Un ballo in maschera as Ulrica (Bergonzi, Rysanek, Merrill; Santi, 1962) Living Stage
  • Wagner: Das Rheingold as Erda (Flagstad, London; Solti, 1958) Decca
  • Wagner: Die Walkure as Fricka (Nilsson, Rysanek, Ludwig, Hotter, Frick, Suthaus; La Scala, Karajan, 1958) Myto; IDIS
  • Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen as Erda, Rossweisse & First Norn (Bayreuth, Knappertsbusch, 1956) Orfeo
  • Wagner Parsifal (Svanholm, Varnay, London, Hotter; Met, Stiedry, 1954) Adonis


  1. ^ Erik Eriksson, Biography: Jean Madeira, All Music Guide, © 2009
  2. ^ Amy Beth Kirsten

External links[edit]

Villecco, Tony. A Voice Like Velvet; Remembering Contralto Jean Madeira. Classical Singer Magazine Oct. 2012.