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Karin Maria Branzell (Contralto)

Born: September 24, 1891 - Stockholm, Sweden
Died: December 14, 1974 - Altadena, Cifornia, USA

The noted Swedish contralto, Karin Maria Branzel, was a pupil of Thekla Hofer in Stockholm, Louis Bachner in Berlin, and Enrico Rosati in New York.

In 1912 Karin Maria Branzel made her operatic debut as Prince Sarvilaka in Eugen d'Albert's Izeÿt in Stockholm, where she sang at the Royal Opera until 1918. The she was a member of the Berlin State Opera until 1923. In February 1924 she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Fricka in Die Watküre, and remained on the roster until 1944. She sang there again in 1951. She also appeared at the Bayreuth Festivals (1930-1931), London's Covent Garden (1935; 1937-1938), and the San Francisco Opera (1941).

In later years Karin Branzell taught at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

The exceptional range of her voice allowed Karin Maria Branzel to sing both contralto and soprano roles. Although especially known for such Wagnerian roles as Ortrud, Venus, Erda, Brang1ine, and the Watküre Briinnhilde, she also was admired as Amneris, Dalila, Herodias, and Clyternnestra.

Source: Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2003)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works

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Erich Kleiber

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BWV 245

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