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Matzenauer, Margarete

MATZENAUER, MARGARETE

MATZENAUER, MARGARETE (1881–1963), contralto, later soprano, singer. Born in Temesvár (then Hungary), Matzenauer grew up in musical surroundings and began to study singing at an early age, first in Graz and later in Berlin. Her operatic debut was in Strasbourg (1901) and she remained there for three years; she then sang contralto roles at the Munich Court Opera, specializing in Wagnerian roles and also appearing at Bayreuth. From 1911 to 1930 she was a leading singer; both in soprano and contralto ranges, although after 1914 she called herself a soprano. Matzenauer was most famed for the grandeur and richness of her Wagnerian tones, but she also sang in other operas, notably by Verdi, Strauss, and Janacek. After her Carnegie Hall farewell in 1938, she retired to California, where she lived until her death.

[Max Loppert (2nd ed.)]

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