Dernesch, Helga, Austrian soprano; b. Vienna, Feb. 3,1939. She was educated at the Vienna Cons. She made her opératic debut at the Bern Stadttheater in 1961; then sang in Wiesbaden and Cologne; subsequently appeared at the Bayreuth Festivals. In 1969 Herbert von Karajan chose her for his Salzburg Easter Festival; in 1970 she made her debut at Covent Garden, London; also sang with the Hamburg State opéra, the Berlin Stadtlsche Oper, and the Vienna State opéra. She sang many Wagnerian dramatic roles and those of Richard Strauss; from 1979 she turned her attention to mezzo-soprano parts. From 1982 she sang at the San Francisco opéra. On Oct. 14, 1985, she made her Metropolitan Opéra debut in N.Y. as Mussorgsky’s Marfa. In 1990 she appeared as Verdi’s Mistress Quickly in Los Angeles. She sang Strauss’s Clytemnestra at the Opéra de la Bastille in Paris in 1992. In 1996 she appeared as Frau von Luber in Weill’s Silbersee at the London Promenade Concerts. She married Werner Krenn .
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire