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ARLEEN AUGER, Soprano * 13 September 1939, South Gate Los Angeles County California, USA + 10 June 1993, Loosduinen Zuid-Holland, Netherlands;

27 Oct

Opera Singer. A coloratura soprano, she earned praise in both opera and recital throughout the world. Born Joyce Arleen Auger, she was raised in Southern California and learned to sing in church while also studying piano and violin and gaining experience in local theater; Arleen graduated from California State University, Long Beach, worked for a time as an elementery school teacher, then after vocal training in Chicago made her first professional appearances in concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A 1967 vocal competition win provided a trip to Vienna where following further study she made her operatic debut later that same year at the Vienna State Opera as The Queen of the Night in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” under the baton of Josef Krips. Arleen kept Vienna as her base for seven years, eventually singing about a dozen roles including Gilda in Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and Constanze of Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio”. She made her New York City Opera debut in 1969 as The Queen of the Night, first appeared at La Scala Milano in 1975 as Le feu in Maurice Ravel’s “L’enfant et les sortileges”, and made her Metropolitan Opera bow in 1978 as Marzelline from Beethoven’s “Fidelio” with Karl Bohm on the podium. Throughout her career Arleen was an active concert and recital singer primarily performing the works of Bach, Handel, and Mozart at roughly 60 music festivals, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, London’s Wigmore and Royal Festival Halls, and other primiere venues. A gifted instructor she taught at Frankfurt’s Goethe University from 1971 until 1977, as well as at the Salzsburg Mozarteum. By far her most watched appearance, with an estimated worldwide audience of 700 million, was her performance of Mozart’s “Exsultate, Jubilate” at the wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey on July 23, 1986. Having been long associated with the works of Mozart Arleen was selected to honor the bi-centenary of the great composer’s death with 1990 concerts of the “Exsultate, Jubilate” and the “Great Mass in C-minor” and was to record both pieces for Deutsche Grammophon with Leonard Bernstein. On Mozart’s death anniversary of December 5, 1991, Arleen joined Cecilia Bartoli and Maestro Sir Georg Solti in the “Requiem Mass in D-minor” at Vienna’s St. Stephan’s Cathedral; it was to be her final Mozart performance. Forced to retire in February 1992 she died after three surgeries for a malignant glioma leaving a legacy of around 200 recordings dating from the earliest days of her career, one of which, “The Art of Arleen Auger”, won a posthumous 1994 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance. Since 1995 a memorial scholarship in her name has been awarded to aspiring singers. (bio by: Bob Hufford)

Grave of the greatest Arleen Auger

Courtesy: Find A Grave

Arleen Augér

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Sopranos

 

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