6. Kirsten Flagstad
Kirsten Malfrid Flagstad (July 12th, 1895 – December 7, 1962) is a Norwegian opera singer, acclaimed as Wagner (dramatic) soprano. She ranks among the greatest singers of the 20th century and many opera critics call her “the voice of the century”. Desmond Taylor writes about her in the New Grove Dictionary of Opera: “No one within living memory can overtake density of line and tone.”
After her retirement from the stage Kirsten Flagstad continues to give concerts and make recordings. She even manages to make a stereophonic recording of excerpts from Wagner Hans Knapertsbush Sir George Solti and the Vienna Philharmonic. In 1958 she plays the role of Frick in “Das Rheingold” conducted by Solti. The opera was recorded and released on LP by “Decca”. “Decca” issue cycle “The Ring of the Nibelungen” conducted by Solti. Flagstad leads master classes. From 1958 to 1960 Flagstad was the first director of the Norwegian National Opera.
Between 1952 and her death 10 years later, the singer’s health is deteriorating. She repeatedly entered the hospital. In 1958 she has been diagnosed with bone cancer.
On December 7, 1958 she died and was buried in Oslo.