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Arleen Augér

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Joyce Arleen Auger (or Augér) (September 13, 1939 - June 10, 1993) was an American soprano singer, admired for her coloratura voice and interpretations of works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Monteverdi, Gluck, and Mozart.

She was born in South Gate, Southern California and lived in Hartsdale, New York. She learned piano and violin as a child. She received a BA in Education from California State University at Long Beach in 1963, and her first job was as a kindergarten and first grade teacher.

She studied voice from 1965 to 1967 with tenor Ralph Errolle in Evanston, Illinois, and began her professional singing career after winning the I. Viktor Fuchs Vocal Competition in Los Angeles in 1967, which brought her some singing engagements and airfare to Vienna; she also appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at this time. She was signed by the Vienna Staatsoper soon after her arrival there despite her lack of knowledge of the German language, after impressing Josef Krips, remaining with the company for seven years. Her debut was in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte under Josef Krips; she made her American debut with the same opera in 1969, with the New York City Opera. Her Metropolitan Opera debut was as Marzelline in Beethoven’s Fidelio, under Karl Böhm.

With her background in education, she was a natural voice teacher. She taught from 1971 to 1977 at Göthe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, where she moved in 1974, She also taught at the Salzburg Mozarteum. Her debut at La Scala was in 1975 in L’enfant et les sortilèges.

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