The German mezzo-soprano, Ilse Ludwig, worked first as a choir singer. After studying with the Dresden pedagogues Marianne Rau-Hoeglauer, Käthe Heine-Mitzschke and Annemarie Rauch, she began appearing as a soloist.
Ilse Ludwig made her debut in 1954 at the Staatsoper of Dresden as a shepherd in Puccini's Tosca. Since then she portrayed for more than 35 years as a member of this opera house. She was estimated here for her singing as well as for her acting talent in a variety of roles, mosdtly in the lyrical repertoire. She sang e.g. Dorabella's Cosi fan tutte , the title role in Orpheus by Gluck, Erda in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Carmen, and Quickly in Falstaff by Verdi. In 1976 she appeared in Dresden in the world premiere of the opera Der Schuhu und die fliegende Prinzessin by Udo Zimmermann. In 1985 she starred in one of the gala performances at the opening of the rebuilt Dresden's Semper-Oper as Annina in Der Rosenkavalier. She sang there in 1989 the role of Mary in Fliegenden Holländer. She apperead under a guest engagement at the Staatsoper Berlin. She also made guest appearances at the opera houses of Leningrad, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava (Pressburg), in Lausanne and at the Festival of Wiesbaden. She is married to the opera singer Wilfried Jahns.
Recordings: Eterna (Emilia in Verdi's Othello, Il Matrimonio Segreto by Cimarosa), Denon (Annina in Der Rosenkavalier).