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date: 25 February 2020

Schröder-Devrient [née Schröder], Wilhelminelocked

  • John Warrack

Extract

(b Hamburg, Dec 6, 1804; d Coburg, Jan 26, 1860). German soprano. She was the eldest of four children of the baritone Friedrich Schröder (1744–1816), the first German Don Giovanni, and the actress Sophie Schröder, née Bürger (1781–1868). As a child she appeared in ballet in Hamburg, and in Vienna (15 March 1816). In Vienna she further appeared as Aricida in Schiller’s Phädra (13 October 1819) and as Ophelia in Hamlet at the Hoftheater, being carefully schooled in movement and diction by her mother. She also studied singing with Giuseppe Mozatti. Her first operatic appearance was at the Kärntnertortheater as Pamina (20 January 1821), when the freshness and confidence of her singing made a great impression. She followed this with Emmeline (Weigl’s Schweizerfamilie), Marie (Grétry’s Raoul Barbe-Bleue, in German) and the title role in Kreutzer’s Cordelia (...

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H. Berlioz: Mémoires (Paris, 1870; ed. and trans. D. Cairns, 1969, 2/1970); ed. P. Citron (Paris, 1969, 2/1991)