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Emmy Neiendorff (Contralto)

Born: March 18, 1888 - Berlin, Germany
Died: 1962 - Hechendorf am Pilsensee, Bavaria, Germany

The German contralto, Emmy Neiendorff, received her training at the Stern'schen Konservatorium Berlin and was pupil of Mathilde Mallinger, P. Bruns and Nikolaus Rothmuehl.

In 1914 Emmy Neiendorff made her debut at the Opera House of Breslau as Soloblume in Parsifal. In the following season she went to the Stadttheater of Strasbourg, where she was engaged from 1915 to 1918. In 1919-1920 she belonged to the Stadttheater of Freiburg, and became in 1920 member of the Landestheaters Dessau, at which she appeared until 1938. Here she participated among other things, in 1920 in the premiere of the opera Magda Maria by Oscar von Chelius. She became admitted internationally by an extensive appearance activity. Thus she appeared as a guest several times at the State Operas of Berlin, Hamburg (1929), Stuttgart (1928) and Munich (1931, 1935), at the Opera Houses of Riga and Reval (Tallinn, 1931), and in Prague (1931). In 1930 she participated in the Wagner Festival at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris under the conductor Franz von Hoesslin, where she was particularly admired as Fricka in Der Ring des Nibelungen.

In 1938-1939 Emmy Neiendorff undertook a concert tour to the USA, where she was highly estimated by all as concert and oratorio singer. Since 1925 she could be heard in numerous concerts in Berlin, in 1928 she gave concerts in Leipzig, and in 1930 in Vienna. As a Lieder singer she was often accompanied by the composer Hans Pfitzner at the Flügel, whose Lieder she performed masterfully. Her best achievements on the stage were roles as: Ortrud in Lohengrin, Brangäne in Tristan, Kundry in Parsifal, Adriano in Rienzi, Eboli in Verdi's Don Carlo, Amneris in Aida, Küsterin in Janácek's Jenufa and Adelaide in Arabella by Richard Strauss. In 1925 she sang in Dessau the title role in the German first performance of the opera Dido and Aeneas by Purcell.

After her stage career came to an end, Emmy Neiendorff led own opera school.

Recordings: Pathé (Paris, 1929), Vox.


Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (May 2005)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2005)

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