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Portrait of Jenny Lind.
London, ca. 1860 (1848). Original photograph, carte de visite, albumen print, 10 x 6 cm. - William Edward Kilburn (1818-91) Johanna Maria Lind (6 October 1820 - 2 November 1887), better known as Jenny Lind, was a Swedish opera singer, often known as the "Swedish Nightingale". One of the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century, she performed in soprano roles in opera in Sweden and across Europe, and undertook an extraordinarily popular concert tour of America beginning in 1850. She was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music from 1840. Lind became famous after her performance in Der Freischütz in Sweden in 1838. Within a few years, she had suffered vocal damage, but the singing teacher Manuel García saved her voice. She was in great demand in opera roles throughout Sweden and northern Europe during the 1840s, and was closely associated with Felix Mendelssohn. After two acclaimed seasons in London, she announced her retirement from opera at the age of 29. In 1850, Lind went to America at the invitation of the showman P. T. Barnum. She gave 93 large-scale concerts for him and then continued to tour under her own management. She earned more than $350,000 from these concerts, donating the proceeds to charities, principally the endowment of free schools in Sweden. With her new husband, Otto Goldschmidt, she returned to Europe in 1852 where she had three children and gave occasional concerts over the next two decades, settling in England in 1855. From 1882, for some years, she was a professor of singing at the Royal College of Music in London. Born in Klara, in central Stockholm, Lind was the illegitimate daughter of Niclas Jonas Lind (1798-1858), a bookkeeper, and Anne-Marie Fellborg (1793-1856), a schoolteacher. Lind's mother had divorced her first husband for adultery but, for religious reasons, refused to remarry until after his death in 1834. Lind's parents married when she was fourteen. Lind's mother ran a day school for girls out of her home. When Lind was about nine years old, her singing was overheard by the maid of Mademoiselle Lundberg, the principal dancer at the Royal Swedish Opera. The maid, astounded by Lind's extraordinary voice, returned the next day with Lundberg, who arranged an audition and helped her gain admission to the acting school of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, where she studied with Karl Magnus Craelius, the singing master at the theatre. Lind began to sing onstage when she was ten. She had a vocal crisis at the age of 12 and had to stop singing for a time, but recovered.[2] Her first great role was Agathe in Weber's Der Freischütz in 1838 at the Royal Swedish Opera. At age 20 she was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and court singer to the King of Sweden and Norway. Her voice became seriously damaged by overuse and untrained singing technique, but her career was saved by the singing teacher Manuel García, with whom she studied in Paris from 1841 to 1843. So damaged was her voice that he insisted that she should not sing at all for three months, to allow her vocal cords to recover, before he started to teach her a secure vocal technique. After Lind had been with García for a year, the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer, an early and faithful admirer of her talent, arranged an audition for her at the Opéra in Paris, but she was rejected. The biographer Francis Rogers concludes that Lind strongly resented the rebuff: when she became an international star, she always refused invitations to sing at the Paris Opéra. Lind returned to the Royal Swedish Opera, greatly improved as a singer by García's training. She toured Denmark where, in 1843, Hans Christian Andersen met and fell in love with her. Although the two became good friends, she did not reciprocate his romantic feelings. She is believed to have inspired three of his fairy tales: "Beneath the Pillar", "The Angel" and "The Nightingale". He wrote, "No book or personality whatever has exerted a more ennobling influence on me, as a poet, than Jenny Lind. For me she opened the sanctuary of art." The biographer Carol Rosen believes that after Lind rejected Andersen as a suitor, he portrayed her as The Snow Queen with a heart of ice. Lind and Goldschmidt returned to Europe together in May 1852. They lived first in Dresden, Germany, and, from 1855, in England for the rest of their lives. They had three children: Otto, born September 1853 in Germany, Jenny, born March 1857 in England, and Ernest, born January 1861 in England. Although she refused all requests to appear in opera after her return to Europe, Lind continued to perform in the concert hall. In 1856, at the invitation of the Philharmonic Society conducted by William Sterndale Bennett she sang the chief soprano part in the first English performance of the cantata Paradise and the Peri by Robert Schumann. In 1866, she gave a concert with Arthur Sullivan at St James's Hall. The Times reported, "there is magic still in that voice ... the most perfect singing - perfect alike in expression and in vocalization. ... Nothing more engaging, nothing more earnest, nothing more dramatic can be imagined." At Düsseldorf in January 1870, she sang in "Ruth", an oratorio composed by her husband. When Goldschmidt formed the Bach Choir in 1875, Lind trained the soprano choristers for the first English performance of Bach's B minor Mass, in April 1876, and performed in the mass. Her concerts decreased in frequency until she retired from singing in 1883. In 1879-1887 Lind worked with Frederick Niecks on his biography of Chopin. In 1882, she was appointed professor of singing at the newly founded Royal College of Music. She believed in an all-round musical training for her pupils, insisting that, in addition to their vocal studies, they were instructed in solfège, piano, harmony, diction, deportment and at least one foreign language. She lived her final years at Wynd's Point, Herefordshire, on the Malvern Hills near the British Camp. Her last public appearance was at a charity concert at Royal Malvern Spa in 1883. She died, aged 67, at Wynd's Point on 2 November 1887 and was buried in the Great Malvern Cemetery to the music of Chopin's Funeral March. She bequeathed a considerable part of her wealth to help poor Protestant students in Sweden receive an education. (Wikipedia). KEYWORDS:england/london/photo/united kingdom/sweden
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