Fifty-five years in five acts - Astrid Varnay



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Fifty-five years in five acts - my life in opera
Astrid Varnay
Northeastern University Press
UK Publication Date

For Astrid Varnay, one of the world's greatest dramatic sopranos, opera was the family business. The daughter of coloratura soprano Maria Javor and dramatic tenor Alexander Varnay, she literally grew up backstage at the opera. Vocally and musically trained by her mother and mentor (and later husband) Hermann Weigert, she was just 23 years old when she made her unofficial debut at the Metropolitan Opera as a last-minute replacement for the suddenly ill Lotte Lehmann. Varnay's critically acclaimed performance as Seiglinde in "Die Walkure" catapulted her into the limelight and launched an illustrious career that flourished for over five decades.;In this memoir, Varnay reflects on her remarkable life in opera, discussing her signature roles and performances, vocal preparation and technique, interpretive acting style and her seamless transition from leading soprano to character roles, including her switch from Elektra to Klytemnastra in Strauss's "Elektra". Her fascinating account is filled with frank, often critical, observations about many of the most significant vocal artists, conductors and directors of the 20th century. She describes her lifelong friendship with operatic idol Kirsten Flagstad, the years at the Met and conflicts with Rudolf Bing, her appearances at the Beyreuth and Salzburg Festivals, and her artistic rift with Herbert von Karajan.;This candid view of the world of opera should appeal to both fans and aspiring singers.

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Sopranos (Singers) - Biography.
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