Anja Silja

Anja Silja in 1968

German soprano.

- Anja Silja

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The Tales of Hoffmann

Opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach.

Scenes from the Paris premiere
The death of Antonia (act 2) in the original 1881 production. In front: Adèle Isaac; in back (left to right): Hippolyte Belhomme, Marguerite Ugalde, Pierre Grivot, Émile-Alexandre Taskin, Jean-Alexandre Talazac.
Costume design for Hoffmann in act 1, 1903
Prologue (or epilogue), in the 1881 première
The Olympia act, as staged at the 1881 première
Antonia and Dr. Miracle, 1881
Giuletta act, 1881
The original E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776–1822)

Offenbach intended the four soprano roles be played by the same singer, for Olympia, Giulietta, and Antonia are three facets of Stella, Hoffmann's unreachable love. Similarly, the four villains (Lindorf, Coppélius, Miracle, and Dapertutto) would be performed by the same bass-baritone, because they are all manifestations of evil. While the doubling of the four villains is quite common, most performances of the work use different singers for the loves of Hoffmann because different skills are needed for each role: Olympia requires a skilled-coloratura singer with stratospheric-high notes, Antonia is written for a lyrical voice, and Giulietta is usually performed by a dramatic soprano or a mezzo-soprano. Any performance with all three roles (four if the role of Stella is counted) performed by a single soprano in a performance is considered one of the largest challenges in the lyric coloratura repertoire. Notable sopranos performing all three roles include Karan Armstrong, Vina Bovy, Patrizia Ciofi, Edita Gruberová, Fanny Heldy, Catherine Malfitano, Anja Silja, Beverly Sills, Sonya Yoncheva, Luciana Serra, Ruth Ann Swenson, Carol Vaness, Faith Esham, Ninon Vallin and Virginia Zeani. All four roles were performed by Josephine Barstow, Sumi Jo, Mireille Delunsch, Diana Damrau, Julia Migenes, Elizabeth Futral, Marlis Petersen, Anna Moffo, Georgia Jarman, Elena Moșuc, Joan Sutherland, Melitta Muszely, Olga Peretyatko, Patricia Petibon, Pretty Yende, Jessica Pratt and Nicole Chevalier.

Wieland Wagner

German opera director, grandson of Richard Wagner.

Late in his life, Wieland had a love affair with the much younger Anja Silja, one of the singers he had recruited for Bayreuth.

Salome (opera)

Opera in one act by Richard Strauss.

1910 poster by Ludwig Hohlwein
1905 Dresden premier poster
Olive Fremstad holding the head of John the Baptist in the Metropolitan Opera's 1907 production of Salome by Richard Strauss
Karl Perron as Jochanaan in the Dresden performances, 1907
Alice Guszalewicz as Salome. For many years, this photo was thought to be of Oscar Wilde himself in costume.
German postage stamp featuring Salome 1999
Leitmotif associated with Salome herself
Leitmotif associated with Jochanaan or prophecy
Dissonant chord near the end of the opera, marked in this piano reduction

Nevertheless, Maria Cebotari, Ljuba Welitsch, Birgit Nilsson, Leonie Rysanek, Éva Marton, Radmila Bakočević, Montserrat Caballé, Anja Silja, Phyllis Curtin, Karan Armstrong, Nancy Shade, Dame Gwyneth Jones, Catherine Malfitano, Hildegard Behrens, Maria Ewing, Teresa Stratas (only in a film version, not on stage), Olive Fremstad, Brenda Lewis, and Karita Mattila are among the most memorable who have tackled the role in the last half-century.

Lulu (opera)

Opera in three acts by Alban Berg.

Sketch of the composer by Emil Stumpp
Centre-point of the palindrome in act 2
The two non-identical forms of trope I, each generated from all even or odd forms of cell z
Berg's Lulu basic tone row on C
Berg's Lulu Alwa tone row on C
Derivation of Alwa series from basic series by taking every seventh note from repetitions of the basic series.
Berg's Lulu Dr. Schön tone row on C
Berg's Lulu Schoolboy tone row on C

The last recording made of the original two-act version—Christoph von Dohnányi conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, with Anja Silja in the title role (Decca/London, recorded 1976 and released 1978)—presented it in this form.

Christoph von Dohnányi

German conductor.

Christoph von Dohnányi

His second wife was the German soprano Anja Silja, with whom he had three children: Julia, Benedikt and Olga.

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

Political-satirical opera composed by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht.

The composer in 1932

1985: Anja Silja, Jan Latham-Koenig (Capriccio 1988; recorded in 1985)

Wozzeck

First opera by the Austrian composer Alban Berg.

1974 poster of Oldenburgisches Staatstheater
Georg Büchner, illustration in a French edition of his complete works (1879).
Johann Christian Woyzeck, the man who Büchner's play is based on.

Eberhard Waechter (Wozzeck), Anja Silja (Marie), Hermann Winkler (Tambourmajor), Horst Laubenthal (Andres), Heinz Zednik (Hauptmann), Alexander Malta (Doktor), Gertrude Jahn (Margret), Wiener Staatsopernchor, Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi, Label: Decca, 1979.

Erwartung

One-act monodrama in four scenes by Arnold Schoenberg to a libretto by.

The composer in 1927

Decca: Anja Silja; Wiener Philharmoniker; Christoph von Dohnányi, conductor (1979)

André Cluytens

Belgian-born French conductor who was active in the concert hall, opera house and recording studio.

André Cluytens, 1965

From 1964 he had a close relationship with Anja Silja, whom he had met in Bayreuth and first conducted in Salome at the Paris Opera.

The Telephone (opera)

English-language comic opera in one act by Gian Carlo Menotti, both words and music.

The composer in 1944

In 1968 a film of the opera was made for SFB/ORF, in German. Anja Silja and Eberhard Wächter portrayed the young couple. It was conducted by Wolfgang Rennert, and the production was directed by Otto Schenk