Onégin, (Elisabeth Elfriede Emilie) Sigrid (née Hoffmann)

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Onégin, (Elisabeth Elfriede Emilie) Sigrid (née Hoffmann)

Onégin, (Elisabeth Elfriede Emilie) Sigrid (née Hoffmann), noted German contralto; b. Stockholm (of a German father and a French mother), June 1, 1889; d. Magliaso, Switzerland, June 16, 1943. She studied in Frankfurt am Main with Resz, in Munich with E.R. Weiss, and with di Ranieri in Milan. She made her first public appearance, under the name Lilly Hoffmann, in Wiesbaden, Sept. 16, 1911, in a recital, accompanied by the Russian pianist and composer Eugene Onégin (real name, Lvov; b. St. Petersburg, Oct. 10, 1883; d. Stuttgart, Nov. 12, 1919; he was a grandnephew of Alexis Lvov, composer of the Russian Czarist hymn). She married him on May 25, 1913; after his death, she married a German doctor, Fritz Penzoldt (Nov. 20, 1920). She made her first operatic appearance as Carmen in Stuttgart on Oct. 10, 1912; made her first appearance in London in 1913; was a member of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (1919–22). On Nov. 22, 1922, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Amneris, continuing on its roster until 1924. She subsequently sang in Berlin (1926–31), at London’s Covent Garden (1927), the Salzburg Festivals (1931–32), in Zürich (1931–35), and at the Bayreuth Festivals (1933–34). She made her last appearances in the U.S. as a recitalist in 1938. Among her most distinguished roles were Gluck’s Orfeo, Eboli, Fidès, Erda, Lady Macbeth, Fricka, Wal-traute, and Brangäne.


F. Penzoldt, Alt-Rhapsodie: S. O., Leben und Werk (Magdeburg, 1939; 3rd ed., 1953).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire