Wagner [Jachmann-Wagner], Johanna
- Elizabeth Forbes
Member of Wagner family
(b Seelze, nr Hanover, Oct 13, 1826; dWürzburg, Oct 16, 1894). Soprano, adopted daughter of (1) Richard Wagner’s elder brother, Albert. Through the influence of her uncle, she made her début at Dresden in 1844 as Agathe. She created the role of Elisabeth in Tannhäuser (19 October 1845) and also sang in Auber’s Le maçon. After studying in Paris with the younger Manuel García (1846–8), she sang in Hamburg (1849) and was then engaged at the Hofoper, Berlin (1850–61), where she took over the part of Fidès in Le prophète from Pauline Viardot. In 1852 she was announced to sing at Covent Garden, but a lawsuit brought by Benjamin Lumley, manager of the rival opera company at Her Majesty’s Theatre, prevented her from appearing. She eventually made her London début in 1856 at Her Majesty’s as Rossini’s Tancred, Donizetti’s Lucretia Borgia and as Romeo in Bellini’s ...