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Lebendige Vergangenheit - Margarete Arndt - Ober

Artist Margarete Arndt-Ober
Title Lebendige Vergangenheit - Margarete Arndt - Ober
Release Date 2006-08-25
Genre Classical > Choro
Copyright © Preiser Records
Country AUSTRIA

Promotion Text

Lebendige Vergangenheit

Her Metropolitan Opera debut as Ortrud on 21 November 1913 was hailed by Henry Krehbiel, the dean of New York's critics, as "the creation of a true actress". In his history of the Met; Irving Kolodin wrote that "had the war not intervened, Ober might have remained a Metropolitan favorite as long as, say, Giovanni Martinelli." When many German singers later boasted of having once sung with Caruso, she could only smile: at the age of 23 onstage at the Berlin Court Opera she so impressed him with her artistic temperament as Amneris that he called her "the German she-devil", and in New York she often sang opposite him. Margarete Arndt-Ober was one of the world's most significant exponents of her art, although her name is known today only to collectors of historical recordings. Born on 15 April 1885 in Berlin, Margarete Ober never doubted her choice of career: from her youth she had always wanted to become an opera singer. At the age of 16 she received her first vocal instruction with Berlin's most prominent teacher at the time, the former operatic tenor Benno Stolzenberg. She was the last student that he brought to the stage: he died on 22 April 1906, after she made her debut as Azucena in Frankfurt an der Oder, in a season that ran only from 15 April to 15 May. In 1907 she went to Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland) but after a month was dismissed "due to a lack of talent". By chance Leo Blech heard her and brought her to the voice teacher Arthur Arndt, whose work with her was so successful that she was hired by the opera, particularly those of a dramatic and heroic character, such as Aida, Santuzza, Tosca and Butterfly, but also many German roles such as Weber's Agathe and Wagner's Sieglinde, Brünnhilde and Isolde. Eva Turner's voice was unusually radiant, and her singing was marked by a great range of expression. Her fabulous high range, which extended to the D two octaves above middle C, was highly admired. In addition, she had an attractive stage presence (Toscanini praised her "bella figura") and was capable of passionate acting performances. Eva Turner was born in Oldham on 10 March 1892 and spent the early years of her life in Bristol. As the child of a family of music enthusiasts, she began studying singing at an early age, receiving her musical and vocal training between 1911 and 1915 at the Royal Academy of Music in London. While still pursuing her studies, she became aware that her likely singing future lay in the field of dramatic music. From 1915 to 1924 she sang with the Carl Rosa Opera Company, which toured throughout England and made several guest performances at London's Covent Garden Opera. Initially, Turner was only a member of the chorus, but she gradually began singing rninor solo roles as well (Edelknabe in Wagner's Tannhäuser), before finally being entrusted with major dramatic roles. At this time she resumed her vocal studies with Albert Richards Broad, who also became her manager. Her first great success came in 1924 as Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio at London's New Scala Theatre. In London she was heard by the conductor Ettore Panizza, who arranged an engagement at La Scala in Milan, which at that time was under the musical direction of Arturo Toscanini. She sang her debut there in 1924 in the role of Freia in Wagner's Das Rheingold, conducted by Vittorio Gui. Under Toscanini she also sang Sieglinde and other Wagnerian roles - all of them in Italian as was customary at La Scala at the time. The great opera houses of Italy became the main focus of her career. In December 1926 she sang her "fateful role" Turandot for the first time in Brescia, only a few months after the world premiere in Milan. She also appeared in the role in Naples and many other Italian cities. In 1928 she returned home as Turandot, singing the role at Covent Garden Opera, where she remained a member until 1948. Guest performances took her to the opera houses of Buenos Aires, Chicago, Boston, Lisbon and Berlin. In August 1925 she appeared in Vienna during a Volksoper season conducted by Egisto Tango. There she appeared as Aida, Amelia (Un ballo in maschera) and Leonora (]l trovatore) with such partners as Luigi Montesanto and Giuseppe Taccani. After retiring from the stage, Turner spent a decade as guest professor at the University of Oklahoma and then accepted a teaching position at her alma mater, London's Royal Academy of Music. In 1962 she was knighted by the Queen of England. Dame Eva Turner was one of the most important singers that Britain ever produced. Her long life, full of success and honors, ended two years before her hundredth birthday.