Born: June 13, 1888 - Merseburg, Germany
Died: April 23, 1952 - New York, NY, USA
The celebrated and beloved German-born American soprano, Elisabeth Schumann, was trained for a singing career in Berlin and Dresden.
Elisabeth Schumann made her stage debut in Hamburg in 1909, singing the role of the Shepherd in Wagner’s Tannhäusser. She remained in Hamburg for seven years, adding many of the roles which were to make her famous, including Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Blondchen in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Eva in Die Meistersinger and especially Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier. She was a member of both the Vienna and Covent Garden Opera companies, and a fixture at the Salzburg Festival, singing until 1937. With the threat of war hanging in the air, Schumann left Europe and came to America, where she was a welcome addition to the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
It is difficult for modern listeners to appreciate the full scope of Elisabeth Schumann's art, because much of her enchantment was due to her charm and stage manner. While the voice of Lotte Lehmann seems to leap out of the speakers, Schumann was a much more introverted talent.
Elisabeth Schumann’s many recitals of German Lieder in this country won her a vast public, and her silvery voice, lovely stage personality and infectious charm placed her in that rare category of artists that are not only admired, but loved.