Höngen, Elisabeth, esteemed German mezzosoprano; b. Gevelsberg, Dec. 7, 1906; d. Vienna, Aug. 7, 1997. She studied voice with Hermann Weissenborn and Ludwig Horth in Berlin. In 1933 she made her operatic debut as Lady Macbeth at the Wuppertal Opera, where she was a member until 1935. She then sang with the Düsseldorf Opera (1935–40) and the Dresden State Opera (1940–43). In 1943 she joined the Vienna State Opera, where she remained one of its principal artists during the next 2 decades. In 1947 she was honored as an Austrian Kammersängerin. She first sang at London’s Covent Garden in 1947 as a member of the visiting Vienna State Opera, returning there in 1959-60. From 1948 to 1950, and again in 1959, she appeared at the Salzburg Festivals. In 1951 she was a soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Sym. under Furtwängler at the reopening of the Bayreuth Festival. On Jan. 10, 1952, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Hérodias, returning there that season as Waltraute and Klytemnestra. She also was a guest artist in Berlin, Munich, Paris, Milan, Buenos Aires, and other operatic centers. From 1957 to 1960 she was a prof, at the Vienna Academy of Music. Among her other notable portrayals were Dorabella, Marcellina, Ortrud, Eboli, and Fricka.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire