Schumann, Elisabeth

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Schumann, Elisabeth

Schumann, Elisabeth, celebrated German-born American soprano; b. Merseburg, June 13, 1888; d. N.Y., April 23, 1952. She studied in Dresden, Berlin, and Hamburg. She made her operatic debut at the Hamburg Opera on Sept. 2, 1909, as the Shepherd in Tannhäuser; remained on its roster until 1919. In the meantime, she made her American debut at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. on Nov. 20, 1914, as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, one of her most famous roles; sang there only one season (1914–15). From 1919 to 1938 she was a principal member of the Vienna State Opera. In 1921 she made a concert tour of the U.S. with Richard Strauss. After the Anschluss in 1938, she settled in the U.S. and taught at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia. She became a naturalized American citizen in 1944. She publ. German Song (London, 1948). Among her finest roles were Blondchen, Zerlina, Susanna, Adele, and Sophie; she also was renowned as an incomparable lieder artist.

Bibliography

G. Puritz, E. S.: A Biography (London, 1993).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire