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Lotte Lehmann
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Vocalist
    (February 27, 1888-August 26, 1976)
    Born in Perleberg, Germany
    Lyric soprano
    Member of the Vienna State Opera (1916-38)
    Also performed at the Salzburg Festival, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera
    Premiered roles in several of Richard Strauss’s operas
    Other notable roles included Sieglinde in ‘Die Walkure,’ Elisabeth in ‘Tannhauser,’ Elsa in ‘Lohengrin,’ Mimi in ‘La Boheme,’ Marguerite in ‘Faust,’ Desdemona in ‘Otello’ and the title roles in ‘Fidelio,’ ‘Manon,’ ‘Madama Butterfly’ and ‘Tosca’
    Appeared in the film ‘Big City’ (1948)
    Wrote a book of poems, ‘Verse in Prosa,’ a novel, ‘Eternal Flight’ and three volumes of memoirs
    She had an extramarital affair with conductor Arturo Toscanini.
    Lillian Gish requested an audience with her, having mistaken her for Lotte Lenya.
    Her first name is misspelled ‘Lottie’ on her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    Her performance in ‘Suor Angelica’ moved composer Giacomo Puccini to tears.
    She rejected an offer from Hermann Goering to join the Berlin Opera, partly because she would not have been allowed to perform outside of Germany. (And partly because the contract he sent her was nowhere near as lucrative as his verbal offers had been.)
    She left Austria just before the Nazi takeover because her stepchildren were half Jewish.
    After retiring from the stage, she taught master classes at the Music Academy of the West. Her students included Marilyn Horne and Grace Bumbry.

Credit: C. Fishel


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