Gadski, Johanna (Emilia Agnes)

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Gadski, Johanna (Emilia Agnes)

Gadski, Johanna (Emilia Agnes), celebrated German soprano; b. Anklam, June 15, 1872; d. as a result of an automobile accident, Berlin, Feb. 22, 1932. She studied with Schroeder-Chaloupka in Stettin, making her operatic debut as Lortzing’s Undine at Berlin’s Kroll Opera (1889). She continued to appear there until 1893, and also sang in Mainz, Stettin, and Bremen. On March 1, 1895, she made her U.S. debut as Elsa in Lohengrin with the Damrosch Opera Co. in N.Y.; continued to sing with it until 1898, appearing in such roles as Elisabeth, Eva, and Sieglinde. She made her first appearance at London’s Covent Garden as Elisabeth on May 15, 1899, and sang there until 1901; also appeared as Eva in Bayreuth (1899). On Jan. 6, 1900, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Senta, and quickly established herself there as an outstanding interpreter of such compelling roles as Briinnhilde and Isolde. She made 2 transcontinental concert tours of the U.S. (1904–6), then returned to the Metropolitan Opera (1907), making her farewell performance there as Isolde on April 13, 1917. Having married Lt. Hans Tauscher on Nov. 11, 1892, she returned to Germany in 1917 when her husband was deported as an enemy alien. She sang opera again in the U.S. with a touring German company from 1929 to 1931.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire