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Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: Opera's Sleeping Beauty


By Stephanie Ciccarelli

August 4, 2006

Comments (4)

Farewell to one of the greatest voices of the 20th century, soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.

elisabeth-schwarzkopf.jpgThis morning on the news, I heard Tom Allen of the CBC say that Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, one of the most glorious sopranos of our day, died at her home in Austria yesterday, August 3rd 2006 at the age of 90.

I read a transcript from the World Today (an Australian program) and have the link here to share with you. There are some anecdotes and quotes available that are a wonderful tribute to the woman and artist who touched so many lives.

CBS also has an extensive article about the life of Elisabeth

I'd like to share a story about Elisabeth once told to our music history class by one of our favorite professors who has since retired.

Several decades ago on his honeymoon in Australia, he and his wife had the opportunity to see Elisabeth Schwarzkopf perform live at the Sydney Opera House. Watching the performance, in his opinion, was almost surreal.

Elisabeth seemed to float onto the stage and sang with a dreamlike quality. Her beauty, both corporal and instrumental was very distracting, as the story goes. Fortunately, his wife loved the performance too :)

For so many people, listening to Elisabeth's voice or being in her presence was very much like being on a musical honeymoon, and with that sentiment, I leave the floor open to you.

Do you have any memories of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf that you would like to share?

Please leave a comment.



Image, Associated Press


    Oh that is sad news..

    I knew her voice well, had listened to it countless times for study. A legend to be certain. Fortunately, she lived a long and fruitful life.

    Posted by:
    • Maggie
    • August 4, 2006 2:32 PM


      I've loved Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's voice for years. As I commented in another thread, I studied singing (opera specifically) for 10 years. The decision to take a different path took place, at several levels of remove, because of her.

      During my final year of college, one of the Ms. Schwartzkopf's vocal coaches was coming to Chicago for a master class. My voice teacher at the time was a former student of his and she (my voice teacher) arranged for me to audition with this coach.

      To this day, I'm not sure what motivated me to ask, but I wondered what would happen if this man liked me. I learned that no matter how much he liked me, I would have to move to Europe, study for at least another 5 to 10 years and if I became well enough established, I might then be able to move back to North America and make a career here.

      Well, as a newly married man of 22, I wasn't ready to drag my bride that far from home and family; so I told my teacher to cancel the audition. At the time, I thought I had just thrown away 10 years of hard work and training. Little did I know that God was preparing me for what has become a life-long passion: voiceover work.

      Be well,

      Posted by:

        Hi Bob and Maggie,

        Thank you for your comments. We have lost one of the great ones.

        Bob, thank you for sharing about your background in opera. It gives inspiration to others who are coming to the field of voice-overs from the opera world.

        I'd love to hear a singing demo of your voice on the website!

        It's a pleasure to read all of your comments and I hope to see more this afternoon :)


        Posted by:


          You are very kind, but there will be no singing demo. I have devoted my professional skills entirely to speaking and not singing. Today I only sing for fun, mainly in our church choir and, now and then, as a soloist.

          Be well,

          Posted by:

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