Fremstad, Olive [Rundquist, Olivia]
- Desmond Shawe-Taylor
(b Stockholm, Sweden, March 14, 1871; d Irvington-on-Hudson, NY, April 21, 1951). American mezzo-soprano and soprano of Swedish birth. She was adopted by an American couple of Scandinavian origin who took her to Minnesota. She studied in New York, and later in Berlin with Lilli Lehmann. After making her debut in Il trovatore with the Cologne Opera (21 May 1895), she performed with that company for three years, and sang with the Munich Opera (1900–03), and in London, Vienna, and Amsterdam before returning to the United States. On 25 November 1903 she made her Metropolitan debut as Sieglinde, and remained at the house with increasing success for 11 consecutive seasons, singing under both Mahler and Toscanini in her Wagner repertory, which soon included Isolde, BrÃ¼nnhilde, and Kundry. She also appeared as Meyerbeer’s Selika, Carmen, Tosca, Santuzza, Salome, and Gluck’s Armide; the last two roles she introduced to the United States. She was still at the height of her powers when disagreements with the manager, Gatti-Casazza, caused her to leave the Metropolitan after singing Elsa on ...