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Erika Rokyta (Soprano)

Born: July 14, 1899 - Krakau, Poland
Died: May 14, 1985 - Vienna, Austria

The soprano, Erika Rokyta, was the daughter of an Austria-Hungarian officer, who died in 1916 at World War I. The brother of her grandmother was the famous baritone Hans Feodor von Milde (1821-1899), who worked many years in Weimar and sang the role of Telramund in the local premiere of Wagner's Lohengrin in 1850 under the direction of Franz Liszt, while his wife, the soprano Rosa Agthe-Milde (1827-1906) created the role of Elsa. Erika spent her youth in Vienna, studied piano and singing there in 1919 and earned her National Diploma as a music teacher. Her beautiful was dirst discovered when she sang in the Singverein (singing club) of Wiener-Neustadt, and was then further developed by Mrs. Singer-Burian.

In 1925 Erika Rokyta gave her first recital and began a career as an oratorio and Lieder singer. In 1933, she caused quite a stir when she appeared in Vienna under Bruno Walter, singing a soprano solo in Symphony No. 8 of Gustav Mahler. She soon became one of the most important concert sopranos of the German-speaking countries. Her voice was distinguished by both an unusual beauty in the high altitudes, on the other hand, by her expressiveness and her fullness of tone. She made her home in Vienna, where she performed for years at major concert events, including at the Bruckner Festival in 1936, 1946 and 1949, in the premiere of the oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln by Franz Schmidt, 1938, under conductors such as Hans Knappertsbusch, Bruno Walter, Richard Strauss, Erich Leinsdorf, and many others in countless recitals and radio broadcasts. At the Salzburg Festival, she sang in 1933 in the German Requiem by Johannes Brahms and Schubert's C minor Mass, in 1936 in Christus by Franz Liszt, in 1937, 1947-1948 and 1951 concerts. She also gave concerts frequently in Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg, Paris and, together with the Straßburger Domchor, Denmark and Sweden, at Leipzigs Thomaskirche she emerged as Bach interpreter, more concerts in Brussels, Zürich, Bern, Basel, Belgrade, Dresden, Graz and Gdansk. Her reperoire included all the great classical oratorio roles in works by J.S. Bach, Georg Frideric Handel, Haydn, Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn, Gustav Mahler, to contemporary composers. Exceptional performance in the Lieder singing. On stage she did not appear, but sang opera arias (especially Mozart) in her concerts.

From 1948 to 1952 Erika Rokyta taught at the Conservatory of Saarbrücken. After her singing career ended about 1955, she was head of the Lied class at the Vienna Conservatory,.

Recordings: on Oiseau Lyre label (Lieder by Robert Schumann and Hugo Wolf, oratorios and sacred music).


Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (March 2011)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2011); Manfred Krugmann (Dates, May 2011)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Günther Ramin


BWV 243 [1st]

Links to other Sites

Rokyta Erika, soprano (Operissimo) [German]


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