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Schumann-Heink, Ernestine

Schumann-Heink, Ernestine (née Rössler) (b Lieben, 1861; d Hollywood, Calif., 1936). Cz.-born contralto (Amer. cit. 1908). Début Graz 1876 in Beethoven's 9th Sym.; opera début Dresden 1878 (Azucena in Il trovatore). Member Hamburg Opera 1883–98. CG début 1892 (Erda in Das Rheingold, cond. Mahler). Bayreuth 1896–1914 (excl. 1904). Amer. début (Chicago) 1898; NY Met 1899. Sang mainly in USA until retirement 1932 (her last role at NY Met was as Erda at the age of 70). Created Klytemnästra in Elektra, Dresden 1909. Repertory of 150 roles. Voice of power and range allied to exceptional dramatic skill.

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Schumann-Heink, Ernestine

Ernestine Schumann-Heink (shōō´mən-hīngk), 1861–1936, Austrian-American contralto, b. near Prague. Her voice was distinguished for its richness and wide range. She studied with Marietta Leclair, made her concert debut in 1876 and her operatic debut two years later in Dresden in Il Trovatore. For many years she sang at Hamburg and Bayreuth, also appearing at London's Covent Garden in Wagnerian roles. After making her American debut in Chicago in 1898, she sang regularly (1899–1904) with the Metropolitan Opera Company, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1905. She had a repertory of 150 roles and was a fine actress, popular even when her voice had diminished.

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