Meier, Waltraud, outstanding German mezzosoprano; b. Würzburg, Jan. 9, 1956. She was a student of Dietger Jacob in Cologne. In 1976 she made her operatic debut as Lola in Cavalleria rusticana at the Würzburg Opera, where she was engaged until 1978. In 1980 she appeared as Fricka at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. From 1980 to 1983 she was a member of the Dortmund Opera, and then sang in Hannover (1983–84). In 1983 she made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival, where she won acclaim for her portrayal of Kundry. After singing Brangäne at the Paris Opéra in 1984, she made her first appearance at London’s Covent Garden in 1985 as Eboli, returning there as Kundry in 1988. From 1985 to 1988 she sang in Stuttgart. On Oct. 9, 1987, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. as Fricka. From 1988 to 1992 she was engaged as Waltraute at Bayreuth. In 1990 she sang Venus at the Hamburg State Opera, Marguerite at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and Ortrud at the Teatro Sãn Carlos in Lisbon. She appeared as Isolde at Bayreuth in 1993 and 1995. In 1994 she sang Sieglinde at the Vienna State Opera and at Milan’s La Scala. After an engagement as Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera in 1996, she sang Beethoven’s Leonore in Chicago, appeared in an all-Wagner concert in London at the Royal Festival Hall, and portrayed Waltraute at La Scala in 1998. In 1999 she sang Ortrud in Munich. Meier has been honored as a Kammersängerin of both the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Vienna State Opera.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire