Happy Birthday Astrid Varnay (25 April 1918 – 4 September 2006)
|Astrid Varnay - Brunnhilde|
One of the most instantly recognisable voices in twentieth century opera would belong to Astrid Varnay. This American dramatic soprano had a career that spanned over 45 years in roles like Brunnhilde, Salome and Elektra, through to Aida and Lady Macbeth.
|Astrid Varnay - Venus|
|Astrid Varnay - Klytemnestra|
The first time I had ever heard or seen her was as Klytemnestra in the Gotz Friedrich film of Elektra, when I was a young teenager, follwed by Herodias from the same director. She left quite an impression in my mind.
Now I listen to her recordings frequently, especially her Brunnhilde, Isolde and Ortud. I am continually amazed by her strength and evenness of voice and power through her entire range. She left behind many live recordings in most of her signature roles, many of them in excellent sound. This audio is from the final moments of the Immolation Scene from Gotterdammerung.
Happy Birthday Astrid Varnay, your recorded legacy will provide a benchmark and inspiration for dramatic sopranos for many years to come.