Kirsten Flagstad – A singing lesson: How to sing Wagner [1950]

Kirsten Flagstad’s advice for young singers who want to sing Wagner.
In the end, she sings an excerpt from Die Walküre a capella.
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Picture artwork, editing and remastering by AfroPoli

42 thoughts on “Kirsten Flagstad – A singing lesson: How to sing Wagner [1950]”

  1. Likewise, I even would have been willing to swim part of the way. 😉 Joke
    aside, she raised the standard for Wagnerian sopranos to a dizzy height and
    only a handful of singers came close but never surpassed her. Thank you for
    sharing this valuable educative clip.

  2. I find Flagstad completely true. Nowadays, vocal music has hit rock bottom.
    Everyone is losing the virtue of patience which is pertinent to vocal
    music, whether singing bel canto or Wagnerian. We had a period of revival
    in bel canto with Joan Sutherland, Maria Callas, and Luciano Pavarotti, but
    ever since, we have hit rock bottom. You cannot force the voice to do
    something immediately. You have to gradually work your way up into harder,
    more difficult parts like Kirsten did.

  3. If alive now, Kirsten would say our “greatest” singers of this age would be
    in the chorus in her time……..for me she is the greatest voice in the
    history of recorded music……over Lanza, Caruso, etc. Her daughter
    married and was living in North Dakota decades ago…..if what I read is
    true.

  4. Music Film Art

    Very interesting and inspiring. I also enjoy to listen to her speaking
    voice, so naturally open, warm and full, not as artificial as the speaking
    voices of many singers.

  5. At age 18 and 19, I was very fortunate to be a volunteer usher at the San
    Francisco Opera. I saw Kirsten Flagstad perform in, “Die Walkure” and
    “Tristan und Isolde.” Both were great performances, but my most memorable
    night came four years later when Mme. Flagstad was the guest artist on the
    old Sunday night, “Standard Hour” radio broadcast, from the San Francisco
    Opera House. This time I was seated in the Dress Circle, which is the
    upper half of the main balcony. She sang the “Immolation” scene from the
    finale of Gotterdamerung. Her voice carried to the upper levels as if she
    was standing next to you, clear, powerful, yet controlled in a manner that
    I have never heard another singer approach. She could override the entire
    orchestra without ever seeming to be loud. There are three above all that
    for me represent the greatest voices of the 20th century, (Caruso,
    Sutherland, and Flagstad)

  6. Some people think that there is no talents or voices. It is all wrong.
    There are voices, but the problem is that the voice has to mature and that
    happens not earlier than 35 for any voice type. Moreover, the young talents
    enter competitions, sing too much and ruin themselves even before becoming
    physiologically mature to sing Verdi, Wagner, etc. Why most competitions
    are around 25-30? This is a question that should be raised. No one cared if
    there would be Flagstad 70 y.old on stage instead of some dolls that jump
    up side down and except their body have nothing to show. If they have good
    body -that’s good, let them go to modeling business and leave opera alone!
    80 years ago there were many great singers, today-I don’t know if you can
    find someone to compare with Flagstad or even Pavarotti. Who cared that he
    was overweight? Did not he filled the halls? did not he left his name in
    history? Because everythings is here for business, therefore smart singers
    go slower, but have an age issue, weight issue, etc. , and the rest you all
    know……we need to fight for opera if we want quality, if we really want
    to keep the genre. Nature could not give so many good voices and all of a
    sudden stop to produce them; it is our fault that we don’t take too many
    years to study, to preserve, not to allow modern stupid productions that
    ruin opera. Sorry for being very straight forward, but unless we speak up
    we cannot change things to a better result. 

  7. I can think of at least one exception to the rule that Wagner should be
    attempted only later in one’s career. Marjorie Lawrence started singing
    Wagner right at the beginning of her career, making her debut as Elisabeth
    in Tannhauser at the age of 25. A year later she sang Ortrud in Lohengrin,
    and from there she took on the other major Wagnerian heroines and
    alternated these roles with Flagstad at the Metropolitan. Polio kept her
    off the operatic stage from the year 1941, but she continued to sing
    concerts until the end of her career. It is a shame that Marjorie Lawrence
    is not better known today!

  8. Many many thanks for uploading this. There is great info in a few minutes
    that will work for a lifetime. Happy to find a couple of similar
    conclusions with this great maestra. And good new thoughts to follow.
    Deeply grateful to have been able to hear this. Again thanks, and hoping
    that many many many more listen to it!

  9. Madame Flagstad’s advice applies not only to women who aspire to sing
    Wagner but also men. Singing Alberich will make a believer out of anyone
    who might doubt her wisdom (see the dim comments from an individual a few
    years ago).

  10. 8:15 Nur Todgeweihten taugt mein Anblick;
    wer mich erschaut,
    der scheidet vom Lebens Licht.
    Auf der Walstatt allein erschein’ ich Edlen
    wer mich gewahrt,
    zur Wal kor ich ihn mir!
    Death-doomed is he who looks upon me;
    who meets my glance
    must turn from the light of life.
    On the war-field alone I come to heroes;
    those whom I greet
    with me needs must go hence!

  11. Do someone know witch’s the aria She sang for the begining? And if is not
    bother for a long: how’s the lastone aria’s name? At my request, sorry dir
    disturbing. Thanks!!! 😊👍

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