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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 9 December 1915Jarotschin, Prussia, Germany [now Jarocin, Wielkopolskie, Poland]
Date of Death 3 August 2006Schruns, Vorarlberg, Austria  (natural causes)
Birth NameOlga Maria Elisabeth Frederike Schwarzkopf

Mini Bio (1)

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf was born on December 9, 1915 in Jarotschin, Prussia, Germany [now Jarocin, Wielkopolskie, Poland] as Olga Maria Elisabeth Frederike Schwarzkopf. She was an actress, known for Closer (2004), Der Rosenkavalier (1962) and Das Mädchen von St. Coeur (1940). She was married to Walter Legge. She died on August 3, 2006 in Schruns, Vorarlberg, Austria.

Spouse (1)

Walter Legge (19 October 1953 - 22 March 1979) (his death)

Trivia (7)

In 1946 she was invited to audition for Walter Legge, one of the most respected names in the classical music recording business, who signed her to an exclusive recording contract for EMI. In 1953, they married.
Particularly noted for her singing the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Richard Strauss.
She was sometimes erroneously reported to be the aunt of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. In fact, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf was an only child, and after her death, her former agent advised the press that he was unaware of any family connection between her and Norman Schwarzkopf.
One of the most famous operatic sopranos of the twentieth century, as famous for her looks as for her voice. Many of her recordings for EMI are still classical best sellers - among them two versions of "The Merry Widow", recordings of "The Magic Flute" and Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" conducted by Otto Klemperer, her classic recording of Richard Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier", and her two recordings of "The Marriage of Figaro". All are available on CD.
She appeared in her first opera in 1928, at the age of 13. She made her professional debut at the Berlin State Opera in 1938. She performed at the world's most famous opera houses - La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She became a British citizen and was named a Dame Commander of the British Empire.
She gave her last operatic performance in Brussels in 1971, appearing for the last time in one of her signature roles, the Marschallin in Richard Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier". She devoted the next few years to lieder recitals. A few days before the final performance of her career in 1979, her husband suffered a heart attack. However, he refused to miss his wife's last concert. He attended the concert against his doctor's orders, and died three days later.
She was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1992 for her services to music.

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