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FRIDA LEIDER: SINGER IN THE DISCORD OF HER TIME

Published in German: Frida Leider: Sängerin im Zwiespalt ihrer Zeit Eva Rieger with Peter Sommeregger

Olms Verlag, 270 pages The Berlin-born dramatic soprano Frida Leider (1888- 1975) became legendary for her Wagner roles, although on the basis of recordings, her humane warmth and vocal ease were also stunning in Verdi and lieder. This first biography of the singer sometimes called a bel canto Wagnerian focuses on the tragedy Leider faced after years of singing glory, when the Nazis arrived to power and her husband, a Jewish violinist who was concertmaster of the Berlin State Opera Orchestra, had to flee. Leider was given misleading assurances that her career in Germany would not be impacted if she remained. Rieger, music historian and author of previous books about Nannerl Mozart, Wolfgang’s older sister, and Minna Wagner, the composer’s first wife, observes that Leider finally ‘gave up opera when it became clear that adaptation was not enough and that there was no politics-free space in [German] culture’.

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About Opera Now

Christophe Rousset celebrates a quarter century at the forefront of the Early Music scene with Les Talens Lyriques; Sir John Eliot Gardiner takes Monteverdi’s three surviving operas on tour around the world; and our guide to the brightest and best opera festivals of 2017. Plus, remembering the velvet voice of Swedish tenor Nicolai Gedda; individuality and imagination in the songs of Arthur Sullivan; Debussy’s ravishing Pelléas lets down its hair at Garsington; American baritone Scott Hendricks shares his love of playing bad boys; the art of the librettist; British conductor Nicholas Chalmers; and an 80th birthday tribute to Grace Bumbry.
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