Borkh, Inge (1917—)

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Borkh, Inge (1917—)

Swiss soprano. Born Ingeborg Simon on May 26, 1917, in Mannheim; married Alexander Welitsch (a singer); studied acting at the Max Reinhardt seminar in Vienna and singing at the Salzburg Mozarteum and in Milan.

Debuted in Lucerne (1940–41); appeared in Basel (1951); debuted in San Francisco as Verdi's Lady MacBeth (1955); debuted at Metropolitan Opera as Salome (1958); gave first Covent Garden performance (1967).

Inge Borkh shared the operatic stage with such singers as Birgit Nilsson, Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Zinka Milanov , and Leontyne Price in the golden age of dramatic sopranos. Despite this competition, recordings reveal Borkh had a dramatic excellence all her own. Few singers performed both Italian and German roles with equal security. Indeed, Borkh was one of the few German singers who could be mistaken for an Italian, yet she excelled in the German as well. Her complete recording of Turandot is an excellent example of her artistry in Italian music. Her crowning achievement was probably as Elektra in Richard Strauss' opera.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia