Glltheil-Schoder, Marie, prominent German mezzo-soprano; b. Weimar, Feb. 16, 1874; d. Bad IImenau, Oct. 4, 1935. She was largely self- taught, although she received some coaching from Richard Strauss in Weimar, where she made her operatic debut as the 1st Lady in Die Zauberflote in 1891. After singing in Berlin and Leipzig, she was engaged by Mahler for the Vienna Court Opera (debut as Nedda, Feb. 16, 1900). In her early performances, she was criticized for her small voice; Mahler made note of her“disagreeable middle register,” but he also declared that she was a musical genius; her strong dramatic characterizations made her a favorite there until 1926. She was successful as Carmen, Elektra, Eva, and the 3 principal soprano roles in Les Conies d’Hoffmann; her Mozart roles included Pamina, Elvira, Susanna, and Cherubino. Her only London appearance was at Covent Garden as Octavian in 1913; 3 years later she sang the role of the Composer, under Strauss’s direction, in a Zurich production of the revised version of Ariadne aux Naxos. She was closely associated with the music of Schoenberg; she took part in the premiere of his 2nd String Quartet (Vienna, Feb. 5, 1907), and later frequently performed in his Pierrot Lunaire; Schoenberg conceived the part of the Woman in his monodrama Erwartung as a“Gutheil part”; she appeared in its first performance (Prague, June 6, 1924). After her retirement, she was active as a teacher and producer in Vienna and Salzburg. She was successively married to the violinist and composer Gustav Gutheil and the Viennese photographer Franz Setzer.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire