My Golden Age of Singing
Frieda Hempel (1885-1955) was among the brightest stars of opera's Golden Age, one of the first singers whose entire career could be documented by ... Show synopsis Frieda Hempel (1885-1955) was among the brightest stars of opera's Golden Age, one of the first singers whose entire career could be documented by recordings. These captured a coloratura voice of great lyric beauty which Hempel used with remarkable intelligence in opera and on the concert stage. She created the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier in both Berlin and at the Met, where she debuted with Caruso in 1912, and her performances of Mozart and Verdi remain touchstones. Almost fifty years have elapsed between writing and publication of her autobiography. Elizabeth Johnston, Hempel's student, secretary, and companion, recalls that Hempel dictated a somewhat different account to her, which was published in German in 1955 as Mein Leben dem Gesang. But Johnston wisely arranged safekeeping for her mentor's original manuscript, an earlier version in which Hempel tells the definitive story of her life as she wished it to be known. That work appears here for the first time.