Martha Mödl

Soloist, Soprano
She was born on 12/03/1912 in Nuremberg, where she began studying voice at the conservatory of the city. She made her professional debut as Hansel [Hansel and Gretel/Hänsel und Gretel] in Remscheid, Germany (1942). During the period 1945/7 she interpreted mezzo soprano roles at the Opera of Düsseldorf. In 1947 she first appeared in the role of a soprano, as Marie in the opera Wozzeck. She gained international recognition in 1951 when she sang the role of Kundry [Parsifal] at the Bayreuth Festival. She appeared regularly at this festival until 1967. She has sung in Cologne, Stuttgart, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Milan’s La Scala, the Royal Opera House in London, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the Vienna State Opera, etc. She was established as one of the leading Wagnerian singers of the postwar years. Later on she interpreted new repertoire, appearing in roles of contemporary music such as Elizabeth Tudor, Intrigue and Love [Kabale und Liebe], Baal, Oedipus Rex, etc., under the direction of great composers, such as Igor Stravinsky, Hans Werner Henze, etc. Her repertoire included leading roles in the works The Ring of the Nibelung [Der Ring des Nibelungen], Tannhäuser, Tristan and Isolde [Tristan und Isolde], Carmen, A Masked Ball [Un ballo in maschera], Macbeth, Queen of Spades, Elektra. She has participated in numerous recordings, under famous conductors such as Karajan, Knappertsbusch, Kraus, Joseph Keilberth, etc. Remarkable was also her interpretation at the recording of the tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung under Wilhelm Furtwängler. She died in Stuttgart on 17/12/2001. She collaborated once with the GNO, performing the role of Leonore [Fidelio] (Herodeon, Athens Festival 1957). The live recording of this performance has been preserved and released (Walhall).