Gerster, Etelka, noted Hungarian soprano; b. Kaschau, June 25, 1855; d. Pontecchio, near Bologna, Aug. 20, 1920. She studied with Mathilde Marches! in Vienna, then made her debut in Venice as Gilda in Rigoletto, Jan. 8, 1876. Her great success resulted in engagements in Berlin and Budapest in Italian opera under the direction of Carlo Gardini. She married Gardini on April 16, 1877. She then continued her successful career, making her London debut on June 23, 1877, as Amina in La Sonnambula, and her U.S. debut in the same role on Nov. 11, 1878, at the N.Y. Academy of Music. She returned to London for 2 more seasons (1878-80), then sang again in N.Y. from 1880 to 1883 and in 1887. After retiring, she taught singing in Berlin (1896-1917). She wrote the treatise Stimmfuhrer (1906; 2nd ed., 1908).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
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