Fassbaender, Brigitte (1939—)

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Fassbaender, Brigitte (1939—)

German mezzo-soprano. Name variations: Fassbander or Fassbänder. Born on July 3, 1939, in Berlin, Germany; studied with her father, baritone Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender, at Nuremberg Conservatory (1957–61).

Debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich (1961); debuted at Covent Garden (1971), Salzburg (1973), Metropolitan Opera (1974); made a Bavarian Kammersängerin, a title awarded a singer of outstanding merit (1970).

Brigitte Fassbaender's fame grew slowly—in part, because her voice had a lean, reedy sound and was not conventionally beautiful; in part, because she preferred to dedicate her time to concertizing rather than to the opera. Nonetheless, in the latter half of her career she focused on Wagner and has been associated with many operatic roles. Though her vocal abilities were somewhat flawed, her interpretive ability was matchless. Her career continued to thrive as she addressed her weaknesses and used her strengths. When Fassbaender reached 50, she was considered one of the finest female lieder singers on the concert stage. She appeared less frequently in opera but each appearance was greeted with enthusiasm by critics and fans alike. Fassbaender made many recordings that document her great talent.

suggested reading:

Current Biography. NY: H.W. Wilson, 1994.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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Fassbaender, Brigitte (1939—)

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