Christa Ludwig

Christa Ludwig (born 16 March 1928) is a German mezzo-soprano (now retired), distinguished for her performances of opera, Lieder, oratorio and other major religious works like masses and Passions, and solos contained in symphonic literature. Her career spanned from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. Ludwig was born in Berlin to a musical family; her father, Anton Ludwig, was a tenor and an operatic administrator, her mother, the mezzo-soprano Eugenie Besalla-Ludwig who sang the Aachen Opera during Herbert von Karajan's period as conductor. Ludwig's first voice teacher was her mother. ...show more

Christa Ludwig (born 16 March 1928) is a German mezzo-soprano (now retired), distinguished for her performances of opera, Lieder, oratorio and other major religious works like masses and Passions, and solos contained in symphonic literature. Her career spanned from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. Ludwig was born in Berlin to a musical family; her father, Anton Ludwig, was a tenor and an operatic administrator, her mother, the mezzo-soprano Eugenie Besalla-Ludwig who sang the Aachen Opera during Herbert von Karajan's period as conductor. Ludwig's first voice teacher was her mother.

Ludwig made her debut in 1946 at the age of 18 as Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus at Frankfurt, where she sang until 1952. She was a member of the Darmstadt Oper from 1952 to 1954, then sang the 1954-1955 season at the Staatsoper Hannover. She joined the Vienna State Opera in 1955, where she became one of its principal artists and was appointed Kammersängerin in 1962 and performed with the company for more than thirty years. In 1954, Ludwig made her debut at the Salzburg Festival as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, and appeared there regularly until 1981.

Ludwig made her debut as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde at the Bayreuth Festival in 1966. In 1960, she performed as Adalgisa alongside Maria Callas as Norma, in Bellini's opera by the same title. Ludwig made her American debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Dorabella in Così fan tutte in 1959. That same year, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in as Cherubino, and subsequently sang 121 performances until 1993, including the Met premiere of Die Frau ohne Schatten. ...show less