9 December 1915
Jarocin, Wielkopolskie, Poland
3 August 2006 (aged 90)
Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf DBE (December 9, 1915 – August 3, 2006) was a German opera singer (who later took British citizenship). She was one of the leading sopranos of the post-World War II period, much admired for her performances of Mozart, Strauss and Hugo Wolf.
She was born in Jarotschin in Prussia (now part of Poland) to Friedrich Schwarzkopf and his wife, Elisabeth Fröhling. Christened Olga Maria Elisabeth Frederike Schwarzkopf, Schwarzkopf showed an interest in music from an early age. She performed in her first opera in 1928, as Eurydice in a school production of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice in Magdeburg, Germany. In 1934, Schwarzkopf began her musical studies at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. However at the suggestion of the baritone Karl Schmitt-Walter, she switched teachers and started working with the celebrated coloratura soprano Maria Ivogün as well as with her husband, the noted pianist Michael Raucheisen. Ivogün's advice to her new pupil was, "Be noble, my child!"
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