In our age of tin, a voice from a golden age passes…

hildegard_behrens04I’m coming in a bit late with a tribute to the soprano Hildegard Behrens who died Tuesday. In the 80s I was blessed to see her at the Met as Leonore in Fidelio with Jon Vickers as Florestan and Klaus Tennstedt conducting.  Behrens was also  centerstage for one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in an opera house: Elektra in Munich.  It was an astounding performance and Behrens brought a touch of vulnerability to the character along with the requisite skin-crawling weirdness. Behrens went all out in every role and left nothing on the table.

She didn’t make nearly enough recordings. I have some private recordings of her in Met broadcasts and on DVD singing  Brünnhilde in the Met Ring Cycle. Her Salome with von Karajan conducting is her landmark recorded performance and one of my favorite recordings of the opera.

 

Here’s the electrifying Behrens in Elektra

More from Elektra

Final scene

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