Elisabeth Höngen

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Elisabeth Höngen (born December 7, 1906 in Gevelsberg , Westphalia , † August 5, 1997 in Vienna ) was a German opera singer ( mezzo-soprano ).


Cast sheet from the program booklet for the last performance of the Vienna State Opera before it was bombed on March 12, 1945

Höngen performed as a violinist at the age of 15. She studied German and musicology in Berlin , later singing. In 1932 she completed her studies at the Academic University of Music (opera school) as a vocal teacher. On Good Friday of the same year she sang (in the old position ) with the baritone Hans Peter Purand (also: Peter Purand; * June 25, 1908, † unknown) in Berlin's Lazarus Church .

She made her debut at the Opera House in Wuppertal in 1933 . From 1940 to 1943 she sang at the Semperoper Dresden , including in Richard Strauss ' Die Frau ohne Schatten and Elektra and as Lady Macbeth in Giuseppe Verdi's Macbeth . She was also active as a song and oratorio singer . With her appearance on July 9, 1943, she said goodbye to Carmen with Dresden and went to Vienna, where she had successfully debuted as a guest on June 24, 1942 under Hans Knappertsbusch (as Ortrud in Lohengrin ), followed on July 4 by the Part of the Brangäne in Tristan and Isolde .

On June 30, 1944, the artist was on stage as Waltraute in Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung in the last performance before the Vienna State Opera was destroyed in the bombing war . In 1946 she was seen in a new production of Tristan and Isolde as Brangäne, again at the Vienna State Opera.

In a black and white studio production sung in German by the ORF in 1959, Elisabeth Höngen played the role of the abbess in the one-act play Suor Angelica from Il triptych (The Triptych) by Giacomo Puccini . Gian Carlo Menotti's Das Medium followed in 1961 . In 1962 she was in the ORF TV production of the Ernst Krenek opera Of all things and gambled away the pawnbroker Geraldine.

From 1957 to 1960 she was a professor at the Vienna Music Academy . The conductor Karl Böhm described her as the "greatest tragedy in the world".

Höngen was buried on August 26, 1997 in the Neustift cemetery in Vienna (group J, no. 149).




  1. ^ According to Elisabeth Höngen in the search for the deceased at friedhoefewien.at on August 5, 1997 .

Individual evidence

  1. New music etc. (...) Passion music. In:  Signals for the musical world , year 1932, March 16, 1932, No. 11/1932 (XC. Year), p. 251. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / smw.
  2. Lohengrin. In:  Theater List Vienna State Opera , June 24, 1942, p. 1. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / wtz.
  3. Tristan and Isolde. In:  Theater List Vienna State Opera , July 4, 1942, p. 1. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / wtz.
  4. Elisabeth Höngen sings in Krenek TV opera . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna May 24, 1962, p. 8 , column 2 ( berufer-zeitung.at - the open online archive - digitized).
  5. Ingrid Roßki: calendar page: Elisabeth Höngen . In: Sächsische Zeitung , December 7, 1996.
  6. ^ Inscription Deutschordenshof, Singerstraße: Elisabeth Höngen 1964 viennatouristguide.at; Retrieved June 10, 2014