Ivogün, Maria (1891–1987)

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Ivogün, Maria (1891–1987)

Hungarian coloratura soprano. Name variations: Maria Ivogun. Born Ilse Kempner on November 18, 1891, in Budapest, Hungary; died on October 2, 1987, in Beatenberg, Lake Thun; daughter of the singer Ida von Günther ; studied with Schlemmer-Ambros in Vienna and with Schöner in Munich; married Karl Erb (a tenor), in 1921 (divorced 1932); married Michael Raucheisen (her accompanist), in 1933.

Made debut at the Bavarian Court Opera (1913), Berlin State Opera (1925), and Covent Garden (1927); taught at the Vienna Academy of Music and the Berlin Hochschule für Musik.

Maria Ivogün was born Ilse Kempner in Budapest, Hungary, in 1891. She devised her stage name from her mother's maiden name—Ida von Günther . Singing came naturally to Ivogün as her mother was also a vocalist. After studies at the Vienna Music Academy and in Munich, Ivogün appeared at the Bavarian Court Opera where she would perform from 1913 to 1925, often under the baton of Bruno Walter. When Walter went to Berlin to conduct opera, she followed him and eventually appeared at both the Stätische Oper and the Staatsoper. Her most famous role was Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos by Strauss; the composer claimed Ivogün was "unique and without rival." Her recordings were limited but she made enough acoustical and electrical transcriptions to demonstrate what an accomplished singer she was. Her recordings show an ease of production but a lack of force and energy on the high notes. In 1933, Ivogün married the noted accompanist Michael Raucheisen with whom she established an extensive recital career after retiring from the opera stage in 1932. A favorite at Salzburg and Covent Garden, she never appeared at the Met. Ivogün became a teacher and is best remembered for her pupil, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf .

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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