Lemnitz, Tiana (1897–1994)

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Lemnitz, Tiana (1897–1994)

German soprano. Born Tiana Luise Lemnitz in Metz, Germany, on October 26, 1897; died in 1994; daughter of a military bandmaster; studied with Anton Kohmann.

Made debut (1920); appeared at Aachen (1922–28), Hanover (1928–33), Dresden (1933–34), Berlin Staatsoper (1934–56), Covent Garden (1936–38); was director of the Berlin State Opera Studio.

One of the performers who helped reopen the Opera at the Admiralspalast in East Berlin after World War II, Tiana Lemnitz sang at the opening performance in 1945. She was born in 1897 in German Alsace, the tenth of eleven sisters and the daughter of a military bandmaster. Her first engagement was with the Aachen Opera in 1922. Lemnitz quickly moved into the ranks of German opera and soon became a permanent member of the Berlin Opera. Between 1928 and 1934, while she was a guest artist at Dresden, Richard Strauss asked her to sing Arabella in the premiere of his new opera. Lemnitz was the first and last Arabella in performances conducted by the composer himself in Berlin. In 1936 and 1938, Lemnitz appeared as Eva in Die Meistersinger and as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, one of her most celebrated roles. The war interrupted her career when the Berlin Staatsoper and all theaters in the Third Reich were closed in 1944. After the war, she continued to perform in Europe and America, retiring from the stage in 1960. Lemnitz then became director of the Berlin State Opera Studio and took a small number of pupils.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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