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Subject: Re: Ingrid Bjoner
From: James Bodge <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:James Bodge <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 29 Jun 1999 22:43:51 -0400

text/plain (57 lines)

At 10:34 AM 6/29/99 EDT, William A Fregosi wrote:
>Ingrid Bjoner's career at the MET was a success but she never became a true
>"regular" as those of us who admired her might have hoped. ====SNIP

======<  I think
>she did Fidelio but others with access to the MET annals will have to give
>complete picture.  She sang Isolde in Toronto, if memory serves, as well.

I thought Bjoner was a lovely artist and quite important in New York during
the early 1960s.  Her Elsa was impressive; I saw the wonderful Act I of
WALKURE she did at Lewishon with Vickers, under Rosenstock from the 2nd
row.  I was in heaven, and my parents started to get an inkling of why
opera was becoming such a powerful part of my life.

To provide the statistic that would be on baseball cards:

at the MET Bjoner did:

Fidelio         (4 times)
Ariadne         (1)
Donna Anna      (4)
Empress in Die Frau  (2)
Gutrune (1)
Elsa            (15)
Eva Pogner      (13)
Countess Almaviva       (2)
Turandot        (6) - these last were in 1974, after a break of a few years
She did not tour with the company

>Bjoner sang at Bayreuth and in Italy, but her big successes were in Munich
>where she was a great star.  Lots of roles, new productions and recognition.
>Of commercial studio recordings, I know only of the ancient Norwegian Opera
>GOTTERDAMMERUNG with Flagstad which London released here on six LPs--Bjoner
>is Gutrune and--I think--Third Norn.  Joseph has covered her "live"
>well but Myto recently added to her discography a Bayreuth DUTCHMAN which
>William Youngren in Fanfare Magazine praised liberally, particularly for her

Bjoner appeared in the Bayreuth RING under Kempe in 1960, singing Gutrune,
Freia and Helmwige.  She is on the Melodram recordings.  After that, she
did not return to Bayreuth until 1985 (25 years!) and then for a single
performance of Isolde because of an illness, so I'm not sure which DUTCHMAN
Bill Fregosi thinks Bill Youngren is praising.  It wouldn't be the first
time "Fanfare" reviewed the wrong singer in an opera recording.  Bjoner
didn't sing the role in Bayreuth.

Yes, she is the Empress in the DIE FRAU that was part of the reopening
festival at Munich, but it was in 1963.   Her colleagues are
Fischer-Dieskau, Jess Thomas, Inge Borkh and the singular Martha Modl;
Keilberth conducts those portions of the score he hasn't cut quite well.
It is on CD, and good stores stock it as an "import", so it should be
Cheers from Boston,

Jim Bodge  [log in to unmask]

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