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Annelies Burmeister (Contralto)

Born: 1930 - Ludwigslust, Mecklenburg, Germany
Died: June 16, 1988 - Berlin, Germany

The German contralto, Annelies Burmeister, started her artistic career as an actress and appeared at the Niederdeut stage in Schwerin. However, she decided then to study singing and from 1951 to 1956 studied voice with Helene Jung at the Franz Liszt College of Music in Weimar.

In 1956 Annelies Burmeister made her stage debut as Nicklaus in The Tales of Hoffmann at the Städtische Bühnen in Erfurt. Her next engagements were at the National Theatre of Weimar, and, from 1959, at the State Opera of Dresden. In 1962 she joined the ensemble of the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin. Apart from making guest appearances at the major European opera houses, she was also a noted performer of Lieder and oratorios. She proved herself as a Wagner singer in various roles at the Bayreuth Festival, where she sang in 1966-1967 roles like Fricka, Siegrune and one of thee Nornen in Der Ring des Nibelungen as well as the Brangaene in Tristan. She repeated it at the Wiener Staatsoper as a guest in 1966, and at the State Opera of Hamburg as Brangaene in 1967, to the Grand Opéra Paris (as Fricka in the Die Walküre), also in Amsterdam, Prague, Stockholm as well as 1968 and 1970 in London.

Other notable roles of Annelies Burmeister were Azucena in the Il Trovatore, Ulrica in Verdis Ballo in maschera, Orpheus of Gluck, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Quickly in the Falstaff of Verdi, the Hexe in Rusalka from Dvorák, Amme in Boris Godunow, Mrs. Reich in the Merry wives of Windsor of from Nicolai, Magdalene in the Meistersinger and Gaea in Daphne of Richard Strauss.

In 1966 Annelies Burmeister participated in the Berlin State Opera in the premiere of the opera Puntila of Paul Dessau, in 1970 in the opera Joe Hill of Alan Bush. In the concert hall one should estimate above all her art of the Bachs singing.

The first recordings of Annelies Burmeister appeared on Eurodisc (Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244), Missa solemnis by L.v. Beethoven, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Hexe in Rusalka by Dvorák) and on Eterna (among other things, Berta in the Barbiere of Sevilla, complete opera Einstein by Paul Dessau); later numerous records on Philips (portions in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Elias by Felix Mendelssohn), DGG (Mass in B minor (BWV 232) by J.S. Bach, Requiem by Paul Hindemith), Telefunken (Das Verhör des Lukullus by Paul Dessau), Electrola HMV (Figaros Hochzeit, Der Waffenschmied by Lortzing, Die schweigsame Frau by R. Strauss), Supraphon (L.v. Beethovens Ninth Symphony).

Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (June 2001); Bayreuther Festspiele Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2001); Matthias Hansen (Additions to Bio + Photos 01-06 - August 2009)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Martin Flämig


BWV 233-236, BWV 248/1-6 [1st]

Erhard Mauersberger


BWV 78, BWV 172, BWV 244

Links to other Sites

Annelies Burmeister (Bayreuther Festspiele) [German]


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Last update: July 8, 2012 17:13:24