Christa Ludwig

Ludwig, Christa (krĭsˈtə lōtˈvĭkh) [key], 1928–, German mezzo-soprano, b. Berlin. The daughter of opera singers, she debuted (1946) as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus at the Frankfurt State Opera and starred at the Vienna State Opera from her debut as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro in 1955 until her retirement from singing in 1994. Her first American performance took place in Chicago in 1959, the same year she debuted at New York's Metropolitan Opera. One of the outstanding mezzos of her generation, she had an unusually expressive voice and broad vocal range. Among her signature roles were Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Kundry in Parsifal, the Dyer's Wife in Die Frau ohne Schatten, and the title role in Carmen. Also adept at lieder, Ludwig was a particularly impressive interpreter of Mahler's songs.

See her memoir, In My Own Voice (1999).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.