"La lirica piange la Behrens la grande Isolde" - Corriere della Serra

"Además de incomparable Brunilda, era una apasionada straussiana....
En España sus apariciones eran esperadas como acontecimientos espacialísimos."
- El Mundo

"Desaparece una de las grandes.
El mundo de la ópera está de luto."
- El Pais

"...la beauté intrinsèque de la voix, un timbre clair, une diction parfaite,
jointe à une absolue justesse d'intonation,
qui ajoutent une dimension supérieure
au personnage complexe qu'elle incarne,"
- Le Monde

REST OF EUROPE

ITALY

italy1

http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2009/agosto/20/lirica_piange_Behrens_grande_Isolde_co_8_090820018.shtml

English Translation:

The opera world weeps for La Behrens, the great Isolde

MILAN – She will be remembered for her Wagnerian heroines. The German soprano Hildegard Behrens, died yesterday in Tokyo to 72 years of an aneurysm. A native of Oldenburg Varel and a Master of Law in Freiburg, she sang with great success at the Bayreuth Festival in the role of Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Ring. She launched her international career at the Met in New York in 1976 as Giorgetta in Il Tabarro by Giacomo Puccini. In 1977 she starred as the protagonist in Richard Strauss’ Salome at the Salzburg Festival under Herbert von Karajan. Under Leonard Bernstein she took the lead in Tristan und Isolde. In Salzburg in 1999 her performance as the woman ‘R’ in Cronaca del lugo by Luciano Berio, a role that he had created for her, was greeted with ovations. Behrens, who was taken to a hospital in Tokyo, was to perform tonight in a recital at Kusatsu Summer Music Festival. Her remains will be cremated.

 

SPAIN

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OBITUARIOS|HILDEGARD BEHRENS

Eximia soprano wagneriana

Justo Romero
20.08.2009

¡Hildegard Behrens ha muerto! La noticia del repentino fallecimiento de la gran soprano alemana corría ayer como la pólvora entre los melómanos. No sólo por lo inesperado del desenlace, sino también por producirse cuando la considerada por muchos como la última gran Brunilda de la historia se encontraba aún llena de energía vital.

Una aneurisma de aorta ha sido la causa de la muerte de la Behrens, quien estaba a punto de actuar en el Festival Internacional de Música de Kusatsu, cerca de Tokio. El domingo pasado, tras aterrizar en la capital nipona, se sintió indispuesta; fue inmediatamente hospitalizada. Nada ha podido hacerse por ella. Sus restos serán incinerados en Tokio y sus cenizas, esparcidas en el marco del festival en el que debía de participar. Habrá también un concierto homenaje al que asistirán sus dos hijos.

Behrens era una de las más grandes sopranos dramáticas de la segunda mitad del siglo XX, una fascinante personalidad del panorama operístico contemporáneo. Sus actuaciones y grabaciones con los mejores directores de orquesta (Karajan, Solti, Bernstein, Sawallisch, Maazel, Levine) constituyen momentos álgidos de la reciente historia de la música. Además de incomparable Brunilda, era una apasionada straussiana. Dio vida a roles complejos como Salomé, Elektra, Ariadna o la Emperatriz de La mujer sin sombra.

De profunda formación musical (además de canto estudió violín y piano) y humanística (cursó Derecho en la Universidad de Friburgo), su fuerte personalidad se vertía con intensidad en la escena y en la vida privada. De convicción budista -siempre tenía en sus camerinos estampas e incienso-, su presencia escénica era tan arrolladora como su voz.

Frente a otras divas del repertorio alemán, su apariencia no era corpulenta. El contraste entre su frágilidad y la fortaleza de su voz conferían especial relieve a sus interpretaciones.

Su imparable carrera internacional comenzó en 1975, cuando cantó Il Tabarro de Puccini en el Metropolitan de Nueva York. Pronto canta Fidelio bajo la dirección de Karl Böhm en la Ópera de Múnich. Karajan la descubre, se queda fascinado con ella y la invita al Festival de Salzburgo (1977).

Su discografía comprende referencias tan incontestables como su Isolda bajo la dirección de Leonard Bernstein, Elektra con Seiji Ozawa y la Brunilda del ciclo completo de El anillo del Nibelungo grabado en el Metropolitan por James Levine.

Persona inquieta, tampoco hizo ascos al repertorio italiano y checo ni a la música contemporánea. Famosas son su grabación de Tosca junto a Plácido Domingo y su Turandot de Puccini.

Incomparable en el repertorio wagneriano, marcó con perfiles propios personajes como Senta, Elsa, Sieglinde y, por supuesto, sus magistrales Isoldas y Brunildas. En Bayreuth, el Vaticano del canto wagneriano, fue aclamada durante años. En 1983 deslumbró a aquel público como Brunilda en el estreno de la producción del Ring que aquel año dirigió Georg Solti con escena de Peter Hall.

En España sus apariciones eran esperadas como acontecimientos espacialísimos. Debutó en 1986 en el Teatro de La Zarzuela como Salomé. Inolvidables son sus actuaciones en versión de concierto en La valquiria, en el Palau de la Música de Barcelona, y su interpretación, también en versión de concierto, de El ocaso de los dioses, en el Palau de la Música de Valencia, ambas en 1998.

Hildegard Behrens, soprano, nació el 9 de febrero de 1937 cerca de Oldenburg (Alemania) y falleció el 18 de agosto de 2009 en Tokio.

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2009/08/20/opinion/18916191.html

 

English Translation:

An Outstanding Wagnerian Soprano

Hildegard Behrens is dead! The news of the sudden passing of the great German soprano was spreading yesterday like gunfire among music lovers. Not only because it was unexpected, but because it occurred when the artist considered by many to be the last great Brünnhilde in history was still full of life and vital energy.

An aortic aneurysm was the cause of death of La Behrens, who was in Japan to participate in the Kusatsu International Musical Festival near Tokyo. Last Sunday, upon landing in the Japanese capital, she felt indisposed and was immediately hospitalized, but nothing could be done for her. Her mortal remains will be cremated in Tokyo and her ashes spread on Festival grounds. There will also be a memorial concert to be attended by her two children.

Behrens was one of the greatest dramatic sopranos of the second half of the 20th Century and a fascinating personality in the contemporary operatic scene. Her performances and recordings with the best conductors (Karajan, Solti, Bernstein, Sawallisch, Maazel, Levine) are high points in recent music history. In addition to being an incomparable Brünnhilde , she was also a passionate Straussian who brought to life such complex characters as Salome, Elektra, Ariadne and the Kaiserin in Die Frau ohne Schatten.

Her rigorous training in music (having also studied violin and piano in addition to singing) and the humanities (she studied law at the University of Freiburg), and her strong personality afforded her great intensity both on the stage and in her private life. A believer in Buddhism, – she always filled her dressing room with incense and icons; her stage presence was as overwhelming as her voice.

Compared to other divas in her German repertoire, her physical appearance was not large. The contrast between her physical fragility and the enormous power of her voice was a special highlight of her performances

Her unstoppable international career began in 1975, when she sang Puccini’s Il Tabarro at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Soon after she sings Fidelio under the direction of Karl Böhm at the Bavarian Opera. Karajan discovers her, is fascinated by her and invites her to the Salzburg Festival (1977).

Her discography includes such undoubted “standards of reference” as her Isolde under Bernstein, Elektra with Seiji Ozawa, and Brünnhilde in the complete cycle of the Ring of the Nibelung, recorded at the Metropolitan under James Levine.

Intellectually curious, she also dabbled in the Italian and Czech repertoires, and also in contemporary music. Famous are her recordings of Puccini’s Tosca with Placido Domingo and her Turandot.

In the Wagnerian repertoire, however, she was incomparable, leaving indelibly unique characterizations of Senta, Elsa, Sieglinde, and of course, her magnificently masterful Isoldes and Brünnhildes. At Bayreuth, the Vatican of Wagnerian singing, she was acclaimed for years. In 1983, she stunned that audience as Brunnhilde in the premiere of the new production by Peter Hall and conducted by Georg Solti.

In Spain, her performances were anticipated as extraordinarily special events. She made her debut in 1986 in the Teatro de La Zarzuela as Salome. Unforgettable also were her concert performances of Die Walkuere in the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, and her also concert version of Goetterdaemmerung in the Palau de la Musica in Valencia, both in 1998.

Hildegard Behrens, soprano, was born on February 9th, 1937, near Oldenburg (Germany) and died on August 18th, 2009 in Tokyo.

[Translation by Dr. Gaston Ormazabal]

 

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OBITUARIO

Hildegard Behrens, la gran intérprete trágica de ópera

Madrid no olvidará su desgarrador Salomé en La Zarzuela
J. Á. Vela del Campo
22/08/2009

La soprano dramática alemana Hildegard Behrens falleció el pasado día 18 en un hospital de Tokio a los 72 años a causa de un aneurisma cardiaco. Se encontraba en Japón para participar en el festival de Kusatsu en el noroeste del país. Intérprete excepcional en el repertorio de Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss o Alban Berg, se despidió de Madrid con un concierto en el Real hace diez años en el que pasaba revista a algunos de sus momentos artísticos de referencia: la muerte de Isolda, la inmolación de Brunilda en El ocaso de los dioses, de Wagner; el monólogo de Electra y la escena final de Salomé, de Richard Strauss. Los aficionados madrileños de cierta edad no olvidarán nunca su conmovedora, desgarradora, interpretación de Salomé en el teatro de La Zarzuela en 1986, con una intensidad y un dramatismo interiorizado en la construcción del personaje de los que producen escalofríos. También los asiduos del Liceo de Barcelona recordarán sin duda su interpretación en La valquiria, de Wagner.

Hildegard Behrens era, por encima de todo una soprano dramática clasificable en la categoría de cantante-actriz. Se vaciaba en sus personajes. Los desnudaba a base de fuerza expresiva. De la mano de Herbert von Karajan se presentó por todo lo alto en el Festival de Salzburgo con Salomé, de Strauss, en 1977. Entre sus hitos figuran El anillo del Nibelungo, con Solti, o la Marie de Wozzeck, con Claudio Abbado. Habitual de Bayreuth, de las Óperas de Múnich o Viena o del Metropolitan de Nueva York, su definición de los personajes trágicos era de tal calado que todos los grandes directores se la disputaban. En el repertorio italiano destacó en Tosca haciendo pareja bien con Pavarotti, bien con Domingo. Uno de los últimos papeles que incorporó a su repertorio fue el de R en la ópera Cronaca del luogo, de Luciano Berio, estrenada en el festival de Salzburgo de 1999 con dirección musical de Sylvain Cambreling y escénica de Claus Guth.

El recuerdo que deja Hildegard Behrens es fundamentalmente el de una gran trágica. Fue una soprano de sensibilidad a flor de piel, de gran intensidad interpretativa, de profunda definición de los personajes que encarnaba, de una gran capacidad de comunicación. Desaparece una de las grandes. El mundo de la ópera está de luto.

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/Necrologicas/Hildegard/Behrens/gran/interprete/tragica/opera/elpepinec/20090822elpepinec_2/Tes

English Translation:

Hildegard Behrens: the great tragic interpreter of opera

Madrid will never forget her heart-wrenching Salome in La Zarzuela

The German dramatic soprano Hildegard Behrens passed away this past 18th of August, in a hospital in Tokyo, at the age of 72 years old, as a result of a cardiac aneurysm. She was in Japan to participate in the Kusatsu Festival in the country’s northeast. An exceptional interpreter of the works of Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and Alban Berg, she said farewell to Madrid some ten years ago in a Concert at the Teatro Real that offered highlights of some of her artistic “standards of reference”: Isolde’s Liebestod, and Brunnhilde’s Immolation from Goetterdaemmerung by Wagner; and Elektra’s Monologue and the Final Scene from Salome by Richard Strauss. Madrid’s opera-lovers of a certain age will never forget the heart-wrenchingly touching portrayal of Salome at the Teatro de La Zarzuela in 1986, chilling in the intensity of its dramatism. Opera-lovers in Barcelona, will surely remember without doubt her interpretation of Die Walkuere at the Liceo

Hildegard Behrens was above all, a high exponent of the dramatic soprano as a singing-actress. She poured everything of herself in her characters, presenting stark visions based on the forcefulness of her expressivity. Mentored by [Led by the hand of] Herbert von Karajan she presented Strauss’ Salome at the summit of festivals, at Salzburg in 1977. Among her many high points we must include her complete Ring of the Nibelung with Solti, and the Marie in Wozzeck with Claudio Abaddo. A regular at Bayreuth, the Bavarian Opera, the Vienna State Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the immense scale of her portrayals of the tragic heroines was such that all the great directors were constantly competing for her services. In the Italian repertoire she shone most brightly as Tosca, be it partnered by Pavarotti or partnered by Domingo. One of the last roles she included in her repertoire was “R” in the opera Cronaca del Luogo by Luciano Berio, premiered at the 1999 Salzburg Festival under the musical direction of Sylvain Cambreling and staged by Claus Guth.

The memories left by Hildegard Behrens are fundamentally those of a great tragedienne. She was a soprano of great sensitivity and interpretative intensity, capable of deep delineation of the roles she portrayed, and with a great capacity of communication. One of the great ones has left us. The world of opera is in mourning.

[Translation by Dr. Gaston Ormazabal]

 

FRANCE

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Hildegard Behrens, soprano dramatique allemande

Renaud Machart | LE MONDE | 22.08.09 | 14h20 • Mis à jour le 22.08.09 | 14h20

La soprano allemande Hildegard Behrens est morte d’une rupture d’anévrisme, le 18 août à Tokyo, au Japon, alors qu’elle venait d’être rapatriée de Kusatsu, une station thermale d’altitude, où elle se trouvait pour une classe de maître et un récital. Elle avait 72 ans.

Si Hildegard Behrens chantait toujours à cet âge avancé, c’est peut-être parce que la soprano, connue pour ses incarnations de rôles lourds du répertoire lyrique, avait seulement commencé l’étude du chant à 26 ans, un âge auquel beaucoup de ses consoeurs sont déjà dans la carrière.

Née le 9 février 1937 à Varel, près de Hambourg, Hildegard Behrens ne songe pas à des études musicales en dépit du goût pour la musique de ses parents, tous deux médecins, et de l’apprentissage qu’elle fait du violon et du piano. Elle a pourtant une voix naturelle, mais elle se prononce pour des études de droit, et ce n’est qu’une fois celles-ci terminées qu’elle se décide à travailler le chant professionnellement.

Elle ne débute sur scène qu’en 1971, à l’âge de 34 ans, à Fribourg (Allemagne), dans le rôle de la comtesse des Noces de Figaro de Mozart. Six ans plus tard, Herbert von Karajan la remarque, alors qu’elle est en troupe à l’Opéra de Düsseldorf et l’engage au Festival de Salzbourg, dont il est le directeur, dans Salomé de Richard Strauss.

Ceux qui ont eu le loisir de l’entendre sur scène incarner quelques monstres à décibels comme Elektra, par exemple, qu’elle interpréta pour la première fois à l’Opéra de Paris, en 1987, peuvent se demander comment un tel calibre vocal pouvait se fondre dans la discipline du chant mozartien. Mais Hildegard Behrens, au début de sa carrière, n’avait pas cette voix qu’on lui a connue plus tard, affectée de sons gutturaux et d’un vibrato trémulant, défaut qui affecte trop souvent les voix abonnées aux rôles écrasants du répertoire, ou celles, comme Maria Callas, qui se consument d’intensité et d’engagement.

Hildegard Behrens voyait pourtant l’évolution de sa carrière comme étant d’une “logique remarquable” et avait déclaré, lors d’un entretien au New York Times, en 1983, rapporté par Anthony Tommasini dans l’édition du journal du 19 août : “C’est comme si je jouais le rôle dans ma tête avant même de l’incarner. Encore aujourd’hui, je peux réellement penser mentalement le rôle et mon gosier adopte alors de manière subconsciente toutes les positions correctes avant même d’avoir à le chanter.”

Une partie de la critique et certains lyricomanes n’en pensaient pas moins qu’elle n’était pas destinée aux rôles écrasants et qu’elle n’était pas davantage une wagnérienne née, comme Kirsten Flagstad et Birgit Nilsson, deux autres fameuses interprètes de ce répertoire. Cela ne l’empêchera pas d’obtenir un triomphe, en 1983, en Brünnhilde, dans La Tétralogie, au Festival de Bayreuth, la Mecque des opéras de l’auteur de Tristan et Isolde, une partition qu’elle enregistra magnifiquement avec Leonard Bernstein pour Deutsche Grammophon.

Sa voix était d’une certaine manière inclassable. A propos de son interprétation d’Elektra au Festival de Salzbourg, Le Monde écrivait, le 19 août 1996 : “Hildegard Behrens est une Electre prodigieuse de fureur, de violence ; mais, si l’on ne peut dire qu’elle chante vraiment faux (à part le premier monologue où elle s’écarte parfois d’un demi-ton en deçà ou au-delà des notes), on ne peut pas non plus affirmer qu’elle chante juste, voix étrange depuis toujours mais ô combien prenante.”

Mais ce qui faisait oublier ces défauts techniques, c’était son incroyable présence scénique, incandescente, presque magnétique, et aussi la beauté de cette femme svelte à la longue chevelure brune (maquillé, son visage, lorsqu’elle jouait, rappelait à l’occasion celui d’une Marlene Dietrich).

Nous ne l’avons entendue que deux fois sur scène : lors de cette Elektra de Strauss à l’Opéra de Paris, en 1987, et, plus récemment, au Festival de Salzbourg, dans l’opéra Cronaca del Luogo de Luciano Berio (Le Monde du 30 juillet 1999). A la fin d’Elektra, celle qui s’était entièrement donnée à ce rôle écrasant que peu peuvent “tenir”, s’était odieusement fait huer par la salle. Car il n’est pas humain d’injurier un travail d’une telle générosité. Le Monde du 3 février 1987 relevait “la beauté intrinsèque de la voix, un timbre clair, une diction parfaite, jointe à une absolue justesse d’intonation, qui ajoutent une dimension supérieure au personnage complexe qu’elle incarne”.

Ses disques et ses DVD rendent justice à son art, mais il est possible de consulter, sur le site www.Youtube.com, des extraits de ses apparitions sur scène, notamment, au Metropolitan Opera de New York, dont elle fut l’une des vedettes, entre 1976 et 1999, dans “Vissi d’Arte”, extrait de Tosca de Puccini : on pourrait rêver chant plus souple et ductile, un vibrato plus contrôlé, mais, depuis Callas, on n’a pas souvent assisté à incarnation aussi engagée et aussi bouleversante. D’ailleurs, à la fin de l’air, le public du Met l’ovationne sans qu’aucune huée ne s’y mêle…

http://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2009/08/19/la-soprano-allemande-hildegard-behrens-est-morte_1230004_3246.html

 

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Mort d’Hildegard Behrens

La nouvelle est tombée froidement, hier matin: la grande soprano Hildegard Behrens est morte. A 72 ans, la cantatrice qui se faisait discrète depuis plusieurs années, invitée par le Festival de Kusatsu au Japon pour y donner un récital, a été admise dans un hôpital de Tokyo, dimanche dernier, à la suite d’un malaise. Elle a finalement succombé à une rupture d’anévrisme de l’aorte, le mardi 18 août. Voix radieuse, à la beauté frémissante, fragile et féminine tout en étant résistante, Hildegard Behrens accède à la gloire internationale grâce à Salomé, magnifiée par l’orchestre ensorcelant d’Herbert von Karajan, à Salzbourg en 1977 ; un enregistrement studio a su préserver cette rencontre (Emi). Strauss succède ainsi à Mozart, Puccini, Beethoven, ou Berg alternant rapidement avec Wagner abordé sur les plus grandes scènes, en compagnie des chefs les plus prestigieux. Senta, Elisabeth, voisinent avec Isolde, inoubliable de sensualité et de présence dramatique, puis Brünnhilde, déchirante et guerrière. L’Elektra de Strauss abordée pour la première fois en 1988 (live Philips), restera sans doute son incarnation la plus aboutie : ceux qui l’ont entendue dans ce rôle unique et dévorant à Montpellier en 1995 et à Paris en 1998 notamment, n’oublieront jamais l’immensité de cette interprète, littéralement habitée par cette musique incandescente, son corps désarticulé se rompant sur les derniers accords de la partition. Ces admirateurs se déplacèrent jusqu’à Toulouse en 2004 pour l’entendre une dernière fois dans le rôle de Kostelnicka (Jenufa) terrible et pourtant si humaine. Ses obsèques auront lieu à Vienne. (FL)

http://www.forumopera.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=1158&cntnt01returnid=34

 

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opéra

Hommage à Hildegard Behrens

par Annie YANBEKIAN
27/08/2009 | 17:10

La soprano allemande, illustre wagnérienne, s’est éteinte le 18 août à Tokyo, à l’âge de 72 ans.

La chanteuse, qui se trouvait au Japon pour y donner un récital, a succombé à un anévrisme de l’aorte. Elle avait été hospitalisée deux jours plus tôt après un malaise.

Hildegard Behrens, grande spécialiste de Richard Wagner, avait incarné avec brio Brünnhilde dans le “Ring”, Senta dans “Le Vaisseau fantôme” et Iseult dans “Tristan et Iseult”.

La soprano, née le 9 février 1937 à Varel, près d’Oldenburg, dans le nord de l’Allemagne, s’était lancée dans le chant tardivement, à 26 ans. Auparavant, elle avait étudié le piano et le violon. Puis elle avait combiné les études de musique avec un cursus de droit à Fribourg, dans le sud-est de l’Allemagne.

Devenue chanteuse, Hildegard Behrens fit ses débuts en 1971, à l’âge de 34 ans, à Fribourg, dans le rôle de la Comtesse dans “Les Noces de Figaro” de Mozart. En 1976, elle se produisit pour la première fois aux Etats-Unis, au Metropolitan Opera de New York, dans le rôle de Giorgetta dans “Il Tabarro”, première partie du fameux Triptyque de Puccini. Dotée d’une expressivité et d’un sens dramatique exacerbés, elle fut remarquée à la même époque par Herbert von Karajan alors qu’elle était en train de répéter “Wozzeck” d’Alban Berg. Le célèbre chef d’orchestre l’invita alors au festival de Pâques de Salzburg dont il était le directeur-fondateur. En 1977, la soprano s’y révéla au public par sa prestation dans l’opéra “Salomé” de Richard Strauss.

Par la suite, elle travailla sous la direction des plus grands chefs d’orchestre du XXe siècle, dont, à nouveau, Karajan, avec qui elle enregistra “Salomé”, mais aussi Leonard Bernstein, avec qui elle immortalisa au disque “Tristan et Isolde” et la Tétralogie de Wagner. En 1983, elle triompha sur la scène de Bayreuth dans le rôle de Brünnhilde, dans la Tétralogie. En plus de 30 ans de carrière lyrique, elle collectionna les prix, les honneurs et les récompenses, notamment en Allemagne et en Autriche. En 1997, elle avait été désignée “Chanteuse de l’Année” par le magazine Die Opernwelt, spécialisé dans l’opéra, selon son site internet.

Peu après son arrivée le dimanche 16 août au Japon, Hildegard Behrens avait indiqué qu’elle “ne se sentait pas bien en raison d’une tension trop basse”, avait relaté une porte-parole du festival où elle devait se produire le 20 août. “Elle a aussitôt été emmenée à l’hôpital en ambulance.” Son fils, Philip Behrens, qui était également son manager et sa fille, Sara, sont arrivés peu après à Tokyo et se sont aussitôt rendus à l’hôpital où Hildegard Behrens est morte durant une opération.

Elle devait être incinérée à Tokyo le 20 août, et ses cendres amenées au festival auquel elle aurait dû participer le même jour. Un concert devait alors être donné en son honneur.

Voir aussi:
>> Son site officiel http://hildegardbehrens.com

http://culture.france2.fr/musique-classique/actu/Hommage-%C3%A0-Hildegard-Behrens-56804941.html

 

DENMARK

denmark

http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Udland/2009/08/19/052257.htm

English Translation:
Written by:Vibeke Rask Grøn
19. August 2009 05.48 Abroad Updated.: 19 August 2009 05.50

The German soprano Hildegard Behrens received the 1998 Leonie Sonning Music Prize.
The soprano Hildegard Behrens has died

The German soprano Hildegard Behrens died, 72 years old. She died in Tokyo late last night.

Great voice
Hildegard Behrens was Germany’s major dramatic soprano, who has been particularly well-known for her many roles in Richard Wagner’s operas, but she has also sung Carl Maria von Weber, Mozart and Richard Strauss into many hearts.

Her voice was at the same time light and with a lyrical sound that is not normally associated with the demanding operatic parts, but she mastered it anyway as few have and had great success with the most dramatic soprano roles.

Hildegard Behrens was educated at the Music Academy in Freiburg, Germany and debuted in 1971 as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro. A year later, in 1972, she became a member of the Deutsche Opera am Rhein.

To USA
In 1976 she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It was during the same period that she was contacted by the conductor Herbert von Karajan, who at the time sought a soprano for Strauss opera Salome. She got the role and performed it on stage at the Salzburg Festival in 1977.

Many prizes
Hildegard Behrens has through her career, received many awards, the key honors being the German Cross of Merit and the Bavarian Order of Merit.

In 1998 she received the Danish Sonning Music Prize.

 

SWEDEN

sweden

http://sydsvenskan.se/familj/dodsfall/article538523/En-av-de-framsta-Wagnertolkarna.html

English Translation:

One of the foremost Wagner interpreters

Sydsvenskan-AP Posted on August 19, 2009 11:24 | Updated September 28, 2009 16:13

German opera singer, soprano Hildegard Behrens, 72 years, Germany, has died suddenly during a music festival in Tokyo.

She is considered one of the top Wagner interpreters since Birgit Nilsson.

Her career which spanned over three decades began in Freiburg in 1971 in the role of the Countess in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Her debut at the Metropolitan Opera was in 1976 as Giorgetta in Puccini’s Il Tabarro.

Her big breakthrough role came the following year when she sang the title role in Strauss’ Salome at thr Salzburg Festival in Austria after being “discovered” by the great master Herbert von Karajan.

She sang a total of 171 performances at the Metropolitan where she worked until 1999.

Hildegard Behrens was born and raised in the north German town of Varel, Oldenburg. Her parents were both doctors, and she and her five siblings studied piano and violin as children. She received a law degree from the University of Freiburg where she also was a member of the student choir.

Hildegard Behrens was the recipient of the prestigious German Medal of Merit, Bundesverdienstkreuz, and the Bavarian Order of Merit, Bayerischer Verdienstorden. She was honored by both the State Opera in Munich and the opera house in Vienna. 1998 she was also awarded the Danish Leonie Sonning Prize.

She leaves behind a son and a daughter. The funeral will take place in Vienna shortly.

 

NORWAY

Hildegard Behrens (1937-2009)

Wagneropera.net

German soprano Hildegard Behrens was born 9 February 1937. She died at a hospital in Tokyo on Tuesday 18 August 2009.

Hildegard Behrens’s career as a singer began in 1971. In 1973 she became an ensemble member of Deutschen Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf-Duisburg and (in 1974) also a member of Oper Frankfurt. After some minor roles she sang Marie in Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck”.

Hildegard Behrens’s international career rocketed when Herbert von Karajan offered her the lead role in Richard Strauss’s “Salome” at the Salzburg Festival in 1977.

Her career centred around the operas of Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss and Mozart. She can be heard as Brünnhilde on the recordings of Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by respectively James Levine (also released on DVD) and Wolfgang Sawallisch (also released on VHS). Behrens delivered a wonderful performance as Isolde on Leonard Bernstein’s recording of Tristan und Isolde (1981). The video above is taken from the concerts that were used for this recording.

Hildegard Behrens sang Brünnhilde at the Bayreuth Festival in the Peter Hall / George Solti Ring (1983-86).

Hildegard Behrens appeared regularly on opera stages all over the world, with conductors like Herbert von Karajan, Karl Böhm, Leonard Bernstein, James Levine and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

http://www.wagneropera.net/RW-Performers/Hildegard-Behrens.htm

 

BELGIUM

belgium

http://www.demorgen.be/dm/nl/1006/Kunst-Literatuur/article/detail/975108/2009/08/19/Duitse-operazangeres-Hildegard-Behrens-overleden.dhtml

English Translation:

German opera singer Hildegard Behrens has died

The German soprano Hildegard Behrens, known for her interpretations of Wagner, has died in Japan at the age of 72, it was announced byt the organizers of the festival where she was to have given a recital. The opera singer was taken to a hospital in Tokyo for a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

Low blood pressure
Shortly after Behrens arrived in Tokyo Sunday, she felt unwell and complained about low blood pressure. She was immediately taken to hospital. Her son and manager, Philip Behrens, and her daughter Sara arrived in Tokyo and later rushed to the hospital, where the opera singer eventually died during surgery.

Wagner
Behrens, who was born in Varel, near Oldenburg (North Germany), is mainly celebrated for her performances in the operas of Richard Wagner. She took on the role of Brünnhilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Senta in The Flying Dutchmanand Isolde in Tristan and Isolde.

Singer of the Year
She worked with the big names such as Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan and received many awards in Germany and Austria. In 1997 the opera magazine”Die Opernwelt” voted her “Singer of the Year”, She performed often at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and during her long and rich career recorded several CDs. (belga / adb) 19/08/09

 

belgium2

http://www.gva.be/nieuws/media-en-cultuur/aid856484/wagner-vertolkster-hildegard-behrens-is-niet-meer.aspx

English Translation:

Wagner interpreter Hildegard Behrens dies

The German soprano Hildegard Behrens has died at the age of 72. Behrens earned a name and fame for her performances in the operas of Richard Wagner.

Hildegard Behrens was to give a performance Thursday in Japan, but shortly after her arrival she had to be taken to the hospital where she died of an aortic aneurysm.
Behrens will be cremated Thursday in Tokyo. A concert dedicated to her will take place at the hall where she was to have sung.

Wagner

Her interpretations of Wagner earned worldwide fame for the soprano. She played Brünnhilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Senta in The Flying Dutchman and Isolde in Tristan and Isolde.
In 1997 Hildegard Behrens was named “Singer of the Year” by the magazine Die Opernwelt.

 

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Sopraan Hildegard Behrens overleden donderdag 20 augustus 2009

Auteur: (gvds)

MUZIEK — De Duitse operazangeres Hildegard Behrens, een grote dame van het operatoneel en een belangrijke vertolkster van Wagner, is dinsdag in Japan overleden. Ze zou er deelnemen aan een muziekfestival. Behrens werd 72.

De sopraan werd beschouwd als een van de grootste Wagnerstemmen van haar generatie. Ze debuteerde in 1971 in Freiburg als de gravin in Mozarts Le nozze di Figaro. Daarna was ze vast verbonden aan de opera’s van Düsseldorf en Frankfurt. Haar grote doorbraak beleefde ze onder Von Karajan in Salzburg, in Salome. Ze specialiseerde zich steeds meer in de grote lyrische rollen uit het Duitse repertoire.

In totaal zong Behrens 171 keer voor de New Yorkse Met, voor het laatst in 1999. Vooral haar vertolking van Brünhilde in Wagners Ring des Nibelungen bij het operagezelschap leverde haar grote waardering op. In 1990 raakte ze gewond toen er tijdens een uitvoering van Wagners Götterdämmerung een decorstuk boven op haar viel.

Tien jaar geleden was Behrens nog te gast tijdens de Salzburger Festspiele, in Cronaca del Luogo van Luciano Berio, in een rol die de componist speciaal voor haar geschreven had.

http://www.standaard.be/artikel/detail.aspx?artikelid=9I2DV46V&word=HIldegard+Behrens

 

English Translation:

Soprano Hildegard Behrens has died

Thursday, August 20, 2009

MUSIC – The German opera singer Hildegard Behrens, a great lady of opera theater and a major interpreter of Wagner, died Tuesday in Japan where she was to have participated in a music festival. Behrens was 72.

The soprano was regarded as one of the greatest Wagnerian voices of her generation. She debuted in 1971 in Freiburg as the Countess in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Then she performed in Dusseldorf and Frankfurt. Her major break came under von Karajan in Salzburg, in Salome. She increasingly specialized in the great lyric roles in the German repertoire.

In all Behrens sang 171 times at the Met in New York where she last performed in 1999. She was greatly appreciated for her rendition of Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen at the opera company. In 1990 she was injured during a performance of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung when a piece of scenery fell on her.

Ten years ago Behrens was a guest artist at the Salzburg Festival, performing in Luciano Berio’s Cronaca del Luogo, in a role that the composer had written especially for her.

 

NETHERLANDS

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Sopraan Hildegard Behrens overleden

AP Gepubliceerd op 19 augustus 2009 14:46, bijgewerkt op 14:48

TOKIO – De Duitse operazangeres Hildegard Behrens is dinsdag in Japan, waar ze zou optreden en lesgeven, overleden. Ze is 72 jaar geworden.De sopraan Behrens werd beschouwd als een van de grootste Wagner-vertolkers van haar generatie. Ze debuteerde in 1971 in Freiburg als de gravin in Mozarts ‘Le nozze di Figaro’. Vijf jaar later zong ze voor het eerst bij de Metropolitan Opera in New York, in Il Tabarro van Puccini. In totaal zong ze 171 keer voor de Met, voor het laatst in 1999. Vooral haar vertolking van Brünhilde in Wagners Ring des Nibelungen bij het New-Yorkse operagezelschap leverde haar grote waardering op. In 1990 raakte ze gewond toen er tijdens een uitvoering van Wagners Götterdämmerung een decorstuk bovenop haar viel.

Behrens werd als dochter van een artsenechtpaar geboren in het Noord-Duitse Varel-Oldenburg. Als kind had ze piano- en vioolles. Later studeerde ze rechten aan de Universiteit van Freiburg. Ze werd een aantal keer onderscheiden voor haar verdiensten als zangeres, in Duitsland zowel als Oostenrijk.

http://www.volkskrant.nl/kunst/article1279200.ece/Sopraan_Hildegard_Behrens_overleden

English Translation:

Soprano Hildegard Behrens has died

AP Published on August 19, 2009 14:46, updated at 14:48

TOKYO — The German opera singer Hildegard Behrens died Tuesday in Japan where she was to conduct masterclasses. She was 72 years old. The soprano was regarded as one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos of her generation. She debuted in 1971 in Freiburg as the Countess in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Five years later she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in Puccini’s Il Tabarro. In all she sang 171 times at the Met, most recently in 1999. It was for her rendition of Brünhilde in Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen at the New York opera company that she received great acclaim. In 1990 she became injured during a performance of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung when a piece of scenery fell on her.

Behrens was born in Varel, Oldenburg in northern Germany, the daughter of a couple doctors . As a child she received piano and violin lessons. Later she studied law at the University of Freiburg. She was honored for her accomplishments as a singer.

 

HUNGARY

hungarian-2

http://www.kulturpart.hu/zene/14510/meghalt_hildegard_behrens

English Translation:

Death of Hildegard Behrens

The internationally known German soprano Hildegard Behrens, has died in Japan en route to a music festival near Tokyo where the 72-year old was a guest artist.

Behrens died in a Tokyo hospital on Tuesday, probably from an aneurysm, according to the festival spokesman. The singer, who performed in the world’s major opera houses, was especially well-known for her roles in the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.

Hildegard Behrens was born to a musical family on February 9, 1937, the youngest of six children. As a child she studied piano and violin, but after high school she enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Freiburg. Her singing career began in 1972 in Düsseldorf singing some of the smaller roles. After listening to her during a rehearsal in 1977, Maestro Herbert von Karajan immediately offered her the starring role in Strauss’s Salome at the Salzburg Festival. Thus started Behrens’ international career.

Besides Karajan, the German artist has worked with such conductors as Karl Böhm, Leonard Bernstein, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Lorin Maazel.

 

RUMANIA

rumania

http://newsru.ua/rest/19aug2009/berens.html

English Translation:

Famous German Opera Singer Hildegard Behrens Dies of Aneurysm

Last update: August 19, 2009, 15:08

Hildegard Behrens, the famous opera singer and one of the most beautiful sopranos in the world, died in Tokyo at the age of 72 years while travelling in Japan, the RIA Novosti announced, referring to reports by the Associated Press.

According to information received by the agency from Jonathan Friend,Artistic Administrator of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Behrens felt ill while visiting a small town near Tokyo, and then was immediately taken to a hospital where she soon died. It is assumed that the cause of death was aneurysm. Her funeral will be held in Vienna on a still unspecified date.

Behrens was born in 1937 in Varel in Lower Saxony. She earned a law degree, but in 1971 she made her debut on stage performing in “Le Nozze di Figaro” in Freiburg, says OpenSpace.ru.

Behrens gained popularity in the mid 70’s, when Herbert von Karajan noticed her and invited to sing at the Salzburg Festival. Subsequently, Behrens worked with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Her best roles are Brünhilde Der Ring des Nibelungen, Isolde in Tristan and Isolde, and Elektra. She also sang the other works of Richard Strauss, as well as operas by Weber, Leoš Janácek and performed the role of Katerina Ismailova in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Shostakovich.

Behrens was honored with many prestigious awards, including the Sonning Prize and multiple Grammys. In the 1990s, she was named “Singer of the Year” by the German magazines “Opernwelt” and “Orpheus”.

 

RUSSIA

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Wagner’s Voice

Hildegard Behrens has died
Sergey b-Khodnev

OBITUARY

The famous German opera singer Hildegard Behrens has died in Tokyo. She had gone to Japan, to conduct master classes at a music festival, but suddenly felt unwell and was hospitalized in a Tokyo hospital, where she died – probably from an aneurysm. The prima donna, discovered by Herbert von Karajan, who was considered one of the foremost Wagnerian singers of her generation, was 72 years old

She was born in the North German town of Varel, the sixth child in a family of doctors. Music and singing engaged her since childhood, but at the time it seemed that this was done only to entertain the family – her parents and guests, as the main business of the singer’s future life was to be the Law. She did finish her law studies at the University of Freiburg, when she was twenty-six years old and still deciding whether to try her hand at classical vocal studies.

The try-out become four years of study at the Freiburg College of Music, during which Behrens was really persistent: her teacher, recognizing the natural beauty of the student’s voice, was initially skeptical of her viability as a professional opera performer. Behrens made her stage debut (as the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro) in 1971 when she was thirty-four, and at the same time joined the opera studio in Dusseldorf’s Deutsche Oper am Rhein. During one of her first assignments in this period – Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck – who showed up in Dusseldorf but Herbert von Karajan, who praised her, and immediately pursued a career with the young singer.

In 1976 she made her debut at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera, and in 1977 sang at the Salzburg Festival in the title role of Salome by Richard Strauss under Karajan. This was the role that the conductor had first envisioned for Hildegard Behrens five years earlier. This role, along with Strauss’s Elektra, quickly turned her into an opera star of global importance, and remained for many years one of the crowning glories of the singer’s repertoire.

Her dramatic soprano which was deployed in force on the heaviest parts in the operatic literature, could nevertheless sound surprisingly loud, radiant and effortless. Aside from the purely technical side of her operatic vocal production, Behrens also paid enormous attention to the theatrical interpretation, and in general did great work on shaping the characters of her heroines. She did not always agree with the stage directors, but her magnetism and the dramatic power of her stage work were such that the public and critics alike choked on the superlatives. This was especially true of her Wagnerian roles, particularly Isolde and Brünnhilde: she was thought to be one of the most spectacular performers of these roles in the past century, the best Brünnhilde of the period after Birgit Nilsson left the scene.

Although the golden times of her career were the eighties, she continued to work in the nineties and the beginning of the millennium – singing on the operatic stage the works of Wagner, Richard Strauss, Puccini, Beethoven, Janacek, as well as in concert with the major orchestras. But perhaps the last really big event of her career was the premiere at the Salzburg Festival, exactly ten years ago of the opera Cronaca del Luogo by Luciano Berio, which the composer had written specifically for her – one of the last operas of the century symbolically completing a brilliant career in opera that started in the 20th century.

 

SERBIA

serbia

English Translation:

Opera singer Hildegard Behrens Dies

Wednesday, 19 August 2009 12:56

TOKYO – Soprano Hildegard Behrens, one the greatest performers of the Wagnerian repertoire of her generation died at age 72 during a trip to Japan.

Jonathan Friend, artistic administrator of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, said that Hildegard Behrens became ill while traveling to a festival near Tokyo and was taken to a hospital in the capital of Japan where she died, from a likely aneurysm. According to the Japanese Association of Musicians, the opera diva was hospitalized Sunday night and died Tuesday.

Hildegard Behrens whose career lasted more than three decades was considered one of the best actresses of the operatic stage. She gave 171 performances at the Metropolitan Opera where her most successful years were in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and where she last sang in 1999. Considered the best Brünnhilde following the Birgit Nilsson era, she also received acclaim for her performances in such operas as Idomeneo, Tristan and Isolde, Don Giovanni, Cavaleria rusticana, Elektra, Salome and Tosca. (Beta – AP)

 

SLOVAKIA

slovakia

http://kultura.sme.sk/c/4980772/zomrela-nemecka-sopranistka-hildegard-behrens.html

English Translation:

Opera Star Hildegard Behrens Dies

August 19, 12:25 Print Text Size: AR

Hildegard Behrens has died. A famous opera singer and one of the most beautiful sopranos in the world, she died at the age of 72 years while traveling in Japan.

The Associated Press said that according to Jonathan Friend, artistic director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the singer felt uneasy while visiting a small town near Tokyo, and was immediately transported to the hospital where she died, likely from an aneurysm. Burial will be held in Vienna.

The famous singer was born on February 9, 1937 in the German city of Varel (Lower Saxony) to a parents who were both family physicians.

Behrens, who often performed roles written for dramatic soprano, will be remembered by audiences for her performances of operas by Richard Wagner, Karl Weber, Richard Strauss.

In 1990 she received three Grammy awards for best opera recording (in the role of Brünnhilde role in Wagner’s Die Walküre). In the late 1990s she was named “Singer of the Year” by the German magazines Opernwelt and Orpheus.

 

UKRAINE

ukraine

http://ua.korrespondent.net/showbiz/939629

English translation same as in Slovakian obituary.

 

TURKEY

turkey

http://www.haberturk.com/haber.asp?id=166545&cat=190&dt=2009/08/19

English Translation:

Opera singer died Hildegard Behrens

Famous artist was72 years old.
19.08.2009 09:47

Opera singer Hildegard Behrens has died in Japan at age 72.

According to New York’s Metropolitan Opera executive Jonathan Friend, the soprano was in Japan to join a festival near the capital Tokyo, but was taken ill and hospitalized. The famous Wagnerian sopranolost her life as a result of an apparent aneurysm, he said.

Behrens, was voted”Singer of the Year” by the German opera magazines Opernwelt in 1997 and Orpheus in 1996.

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