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Three Great Wagnerian Sopranos: Frida Leider, Kirsten Flagstad and Birgit Nilsson by Professor Colin Mackerras

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Saturday 21 Nov 2020
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Queensland Multicultural Centre

Frida Leider (1888-1975), Kirsten Flagstad (1895-1962), and Birgit Nilsson (1918-2005) were great Wagnerian sopranos from three periods of history. They were among the greatest, perhaps the greatest interpreters of the major Wagnerian dramatic soprano roles, of which Brünnhilde in The Ring of the Nibelung and Isolde in Tristan and Isolde are the main examples.

The talk will cover the main features and a very brief history of the category of dramatic soprano. It will explain the role these three great singers fulfilled in the history and art of Wagner’s opera. It will compare the three according to criteria such as beauty and power of voice, radiance and vocal technique, emotional expressiveness and stamina. The comments will be illustrated by audio and video extracts, the great majority from Wagner’s operas.