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Claudia Hellmann (Contralto)

Born: November 25, 1923 - Berlin, Germany
Died: May 24, 2017 - Bad Feilnbach-Au, Bavaria, Germany

The German contralto/mezzo-soprano, Claudia Hellmann, studied singing in Berlin with Erika Gorski.

Claudia Hellmann began her career on the concert stage. In 1958 she decided about a stage career, making her operatic debut in 1958 at Bayreuth in the parts of Waltraute, the second Rhinemaiden and a Flower Maiden. From 1958 to 1960 she was engaged as principal contralto at the State Theater of Münster in Westphalia. From 1960 to 1966 she was member of the Stuttgart State Opera. After she had sung in the years 1966-1975 at the Opera House of Nürnberg, she returned in 1975 again to the Stuttgart State Opera, whose member she remained until 1983.

Claudia Hellmann has made many guest appearances in Germany and abroad. At the Salzburg Festival she sang as a concert soloist in the years 1957, 1961-1965 and 1967, and in 1964-1965 she performed there the role of Dryade in Ariadne on Naxos by R. Strauss. From 1958 to 1961 she was to be found annually at the Festival of Bayreuth. Here she sang, among other things, in 1958-1960 Wellgunde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, in 1960 the Waltraute in Walküre, in 1958-1961 the first Knappen and Blumenmädchen (flower girl) in Parsifal. In 1963 she made guest appearance at Milan's La Scala as Flosshilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, in the same year she appeared with the ensemble of the Stuttgart Opera at the Festivals of Edinburgh. In 1963 and 1967 she could be heard at the Théâtre de la Monnaie Brussels. Since 1960 she made guest appearances several times at that Hamburg State Opera, among other things as Flora in La Traviata and as Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro. Other of her stage roles that should be mentioned are: Gräfin in Wildschütz by Lortzing, Mary in Fliegenden Holländer, Magdalene in Meistersingern, Mutter (mother) in Hänsel und Gretel, Annina in Rosenkavalier, Fidalma in Cimarosa's Matrimonio segreto, Quickly in Verdi's Falstaff, Emilia in Verdi's Othello, Frau von Hufnagel in Der junge Lord by H.W. Henze and Ludmilla in Verkauften Braut.

Apart from Claudia Hellmann's stage activity second stood, equal important activity as concert, Lieder, and oratorio singer.

Claudia Hellmann has also taken part in several recordings, which include opera, works by J.S. Bach and early music: DGG (Ismene in 'Antigonae' by C. Orff, parts in Il Trovatore and La Traviata, Mass in F minor by A. Bruckner), Decca (Walküre in complete Walküre), Erato (Oster-Oratorium (BWV 249) by J.S. Bach) Christophorus-Verlag (Bach Cantatas), Colosseum; Artista International-Video (Tosca).

Source: Liner notes to the album ‘Wagner: Die Walküre’, conducted by Georg Solti (London, 1966); Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (October 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2001, October 2004); Manfred Krugmann (Photos 02-04, July 2011; Dates & Photos 05-06, May 2017)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Karl Ristenpart


BWV 233, BWV 243

Fritz Werner


BWV 4, BWV 8, BWV 26, BWV 31, BWV 34, BWV 40, BWV 43, BWV 53, BWV 79, BWV 90, BWV 98, BWV 105, BWV 106, BWV 110, BWV 130, BWV 147, BWV 149, BWV 182
BWV 248, BWV 249

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Last update: Thursday, June 29, 2017 00:30