Maria Cebotari

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Maria Cebotari (1938)

Maria Cebotari , actually Maria Cebotaru (* January 28 . Jul / 10. February  1910 greg. In Chisinau , Bessarabia , Russian Empire ; † 9. June 1949 in Vienna ) was a Romanian opera singer ( soprano ).


Maria Cebotaru was the fifth of twelve children in a working-class family and attended the conservatory in her hometown, which was then the capital of the Russian province of Bessarabia . She was engaged by the Russian actor Count Alexander Vyrubov , whom she also married, at the Moscow Art Theater, with whom she came to Paris in 1928 .

In 1929 she began to study singing in Berlin with the singing teacher Oskar Daniel. She quickly learned the German language and made her debut at the Dresden State Opera in 1931 as Mimi in Puccini's La Bohème . In that year she was also signed by Bruno Walter for the Salzburg Festival . In 1934 she was awarded the title of chamber singer . In June 1935 she sang the title role in the Dresden premiere of the opera Die Schweigsame Frau by Richard Strauss . Cebotari played in Dresden until 1943, and from 1935 to 1943 also at the Berlin State Opera . In the same year she made the film Girl in White ; nine more films followed, often directed by the opera specialist Carmine Gallone . In 1938, after the divorce from Wyrubow, she married the actor Gustav Diessl , with whom she had two children, Peter and Fritz. Maria Cebotari decreed in her will that both sons should remain in the care of their long-time educator, Hedwig (Deta) Cattarius. In particular, however, the artist couple Clifford Curzon and Lucille Wallace-Curzon (1898–1977), in whose villa in Seewalchen am Attersee the children who had become penniless due to the second Austrian currency reform , repeatedly spent the summer, were interested in an adoption. When this seemed to be happening, Cattarius, who was 49 years old, committed suicide in July 1953; In 1954 the sons were awarded to the Curzon couple.

Maria Cebotari was an interpreter of the great female roles in the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Richard Strauss, Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. As a partner of the Danish tenor Helge Rosvaenge , she celebrated great successes at the Berlin State Opera in La Traviata, La Bohème and Madame Butterfly , often together with the baritons Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender and Heinrich Schlusnus. From 1947 until her death, Maria Cebotari was a member of the Vienna State Opera . In 1947 Maria Cebotari was one of the participants in the first post-war guest performance of the Vienna State Opera at the London Covent Garden Opera and appeared alongside Richard Tauber, who was already suffering from cancer, in Mozart's Don Giovanni . In 1948 Maria Cebotari sang for the last time at the Salzburg Festival: Eurydice in Orpheus and Eurydice by Christoph Willibald Gluck under Herbert von Karajan , as well as in concerts. With roles like Turandot (Puccini) and Salome (Strauss), she entered the highly dramatic field shortly before her death. She died of liver cancer and was buried next to her husband Gustav Diessl in the Döblinger Friedhof in Vienna (group 28, row 1, no. 6).

Posthumous honors

Memorial plaque on the former home of Cebotaris in Berlin-Westend
Maria Cebotari on a Moldovan postage stamp (1994)
Tomb of Maria Cebotari

Cebotari had apartments in Dresden (Hospitalstrasse 13, later Wiener Strasse 36, most recently Parkstrasse 3) and died in the Austrian capital after a long association with the Vienna State Opera. In both cities, she received a posthumous honor through the naming of street names. These are Maria-Cebotari-Strasse in Dresden-Johannstadt and Cebotariweg in Vienna- Döbling . There is also Maria-Cebotari-Straße in the city of Salzburg (Parsch).

After the Second World War , Maria Cebotari was treated like a non-person in her home country because she had collaborated with National Socialist Germany. However, after the Republic of Moldova gained independence , she was elevated to a kind of national heroine. In her hometown of Chișinău, the state theater is named after her, as is one of the city's main boulevards and the state award. Interestingly, the Romanian cultural scene is also trying to take control of her figure, after she was not allowed to be named until well into the 1990s. Now, however, at the Opera Națională Bucureşti , they remember that Bessarabia / Moldova belonged to Romania between 1919 and 1940 and Maria Cebotari belonged to the Romanian part of the Moldovan population, and so she appears in more recent lists as a Romanian singer.

In 2004 the biographical novel Recviem pentru Maria ( Requiem for Maria ) by Vera Malov (Chișinău: Cartea Moldovei, 2004) was published.


  • Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro (Böhm 1938, in German / Ahlersmeyer, Teschemacher, Schöffler, Wessely, Böhme) Preiser
  • Puccini - Turandot (Keilberth 1938, in German / Hauss, Buchta, Hann, Eipperle, Harlan, Schupp, Kiefer), Koch-Schwann
  • Othmar Schoeck - Das Schloss Dürande (Heger live 1943, excerpts / Anders, Berglund, Fuchs, Domgraf-Fassbaender, Greindl, Hüsch), Jecklin
  • R. Strauss - Salome (Krauss 1947 live / Rothmüller, Höngen), Gebhardt
  • Verdi - Luisa Miller (Elmendorff 1944, in German / Böhme, Hopf, Hann, Herrmann, Eipperle), Preiser
  • Verdi - La Traviata (Steinkopf 1943, in German / Rosvaenge, Schlusnus), Iron Needle
  • Verdi - Rigoletto “When I am on holidays” u. "Expensive Name", Staatskapelle Berlin, R. Heger, Odeon O-25427
  • Gottfried von Eine - Dantons Tod ( Fricsay live 1947 / Schöffler, Patzak, Klein, Weber, Alsen, Hann), Stradivarius
  • Recital (Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Leoncavallo, J. Strauss, Arditi, Rachmaninov, Beckmann, Mackeben, Tchaikovsky), Preiser - LV
  • Recital - Maria Cebotari sings arias (Mozart, J. Strauss, Gounod, Puccini and R. Strauss), Preiser - LV
  • Maria Cebotari - arias, duets, scenes (Mozart, Bizet, Verdi, Puccini), Preiser
  • Recital - Maria Cebotari sings Richard Strauss (Salome, Feuersnot, Der Rosenkavalier, Daphne, Taillefer), Preiser
  • Maria Cebotari: Arias, Songs and in Film, Weltbild
  • Recital - Maria Cebotari sings Giuseppe Verdi (La Traviata, Rigoletto), Preiser
  • Portrait box: Maria Cebotari on her 100th birthday: favorites, finds, fragments - Hamburg Archive for Singing Art 2010
  • Four Famous Sopranos of the Past (Gitta Alpar, Jarmila Novotna and Esther Rethy), Preiser - LV
  • Bruno Walter Vol. 1, Symphony No 2 and No 4 (1948/50), LYS
  • Helge Rosvaenge in scenes from André Chénier and Rigoletto - Duets, Preiser
  • Helge Rosvaenge - Duets, Preiser - LV
  • Great Mozart Singers Vol. 1 1922–1942, Orfeo
  • From the Royal Court Opera to the State Opera 'Unter den Linden', Preiser - LV


Web links

Commons : Maria Cebotari  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. (Romanian) "Niciodata si in nici o imprejurare nu mi-a trecut prin cap sa spun altceva decit ca sunt românca din Basarabia sau, pur si simplu, - românca." (English) "Never and in no circumstance has it crossed my mind to say that I am anything else than a Romanian from Bessarabia, or, simply, a Romanian. ”(Maria Cebotari) Archived copy ( memento of the original from April 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and still Not checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. [archive] @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Cebotari children. Between the park and the parlor . In: Der Spiegel . No. 2 , 1951, p. 35 ( online ).
  3. The tragedy of an educator. The carer for the Cebotari children took her own life . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna July 21, 1953, p. 3 , Mitte ( - the open online archive - digitized).