Inge Borkh

Soloist, Soprano
She was born in Mannheim, Germany on 26/5/1917 (or 1921). She was the daughter of a Swiss diplomat. She was initially an actress while she also had some training in dance. She studied singing in Milan and in Mozarteum Salzburg. She made her debut in 1940 at the opera in Lucerne in the role of Agathe [Der Freischütz] and as Czipra [Der Zigeunerbaron]. During the years 1940-1951 she remained in Switzerland singing in the operas of Zurich, Bern and Basel. Since then, she triumphed in the leading roles of the operas Elektra and Salome. In 1951 she gained international notice when she sang Magda in a German language premiere of the Consul at the Basle Opera. During the years 1950-1960 she made frequent appearances in Berlin and Munich. In 1952 she participated in the Bayreuth Festival as Freia [Das Rheingold] and as Brunnhilde [Die Walküre]. Other important debuts followed in great opera houses in Rio de Janeiro, USA (1956), La Scala Milan (1955), Royal Opera House (1959), Metropolitan Opera in New York (1958). She participated in the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (1954) and Salzburg Festival (1955, 1957, 1962, 1963). Her wide repertory included modern works, often in a world premiere. She triumphed in her portrayals of the most challenging dramatic roles: Aida and Tosca, Turandot, Medea, Salome, Elektra, Euryanthe, Leonore [Fidelio], the wife of Barak [Die Frau ohne Schatten], Walküre [Die Walküre]. She recorded Elektra and Salome both by Richard Strauss (Mitropoulos), Antigone by Orff, Die Frau ohne Schatten, etc. She retired in 1973. She worked with the GNO once, in the role of Lady Macbeth opposite Kostas Paskalis, in a production of the opera Macbeth at Odeon Herod Atticus during the season 1968/69.