Astrid Varnay American soprano 1918-2006

Astrid Varnay American soprano 1918-2006

Ibolyka Astrid Maria Varnay (25 April 1918 – 4 September 2006) was a Swedish-born American dramatic soprano of Hungarian descent. She spent most of her career in the United States and Germany. She was one of the leading Wagnerian heroic sopranos of her generation. Her voice on record is readily recognisable by its fiery tone and seemingly limitless upper register.

Astrid Varnay American soprano 1918-2006

Background 

Both her parents were Hungarian and born in small towns in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but she was born in Stockholm, where her parents were living during part of World War I. During a Da Capo interview in 1988 Varnay claimed that although she was born in Stockholm, her ancestry was Hungarian, French and German. Her mother, Maria Junghans (who changed her name to Javor when she took to the stage as a singer), born October 15, 1889, was a noted coloratura soprano with acoustic recordings to her credit.

Her father was Alexander Varnay (born September 11, 1889), a spinto tenor. Opera was the family business, and Varnay grew up backstage at the world’s opera houses. Her father founded, and both parents ran, the Opera Comique in Kristiania (later Oslo), (1918–1921). During one performance, she was swaddled in the lower drawer of the dressing room chest of drawers of the young Kirsten Flagstad. 

The family moved to Argentina, then New York City, where her father died at age 35 in 1924. Two years later her mother married tenor Fortunato de Angelis and the family settled in New Jersey. Varnay had been studying to be a pianist but decided at age eighteen to become a singer and had intensive vocal lessons with her mother. 

Career 

A year later, Flagstad arranged for her to start preparing roles with Metropolitan Opera staff conductor and coach Hermann Weigert (1890–1955). By the age of 22 she knew Hungarian, German, English, French and Italian and her repertoire consisted of fifteen leading dramatic soprano roles, eleven of which were Wagnerian parts. She also had formidable mezzo-soprano capability, which she displayed in performances as Ortrud in Lohengrin and Klytemnestra in Elektra.

She made her sensational debut at the Metropolitan Opera on 6 December 1941 in a broadcast performance singing Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre, substituting for the indisposed Lotte Lehmann with almost no rehearsal. This was her first appearance in a leading role, and it was a triumph.  Six days later she replaced the ailing Helen Traubel as Brünnhilde in the same opera.  Varnay and Weigert became closer and were married in 1944. It was also at this time that she had lessons with former Metropolitan Opera tenor, Paul Althouse.

In 1948, she made her debut at Covent Garden and in 1951 in Florence as Lady Macbeth. In that year she also made her debut at Bayreuth after Flagstad, who had declined the invitation to Bayreuth, recommended that Wieland Wagner engage Varnay. She sang at Bayreuth for the next seventeen years, and appeared regularly at the Metropolitan until 1956.

She left when it was clear that the Met director Rudolf Bing did not appreciate her,  and went on to become a mainstay of the world’s other great opera houses, especially in Germany, in Wagner and Strauss but also several Verdi and other roles. She had already made Munich her home, where audiences liked her. ]

In 1969, she gave up her repertoire of heavy dramatic soprano roles and began a new career singing mezzo roles.  After being the world’s leading Elektra for over twenty years, she now established herself as a great interpreter of Klytemnestra. The role of Herodias in Salome became her most often-performed role: 236 performances. She returned to the Metropolitan in 1974 and last appeared there in Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in 1979. In 1975 she appeared as Herodias in the production of Salome with Teresa Stratas which was filmed with the Vienna Philharmonic and directed by Gotz Friedrich.

In the mid-1980s, character roles now became Varnay’s metier. Her last appearance on stage was in Munich in 1995, fifty-five years after her Metropolitan debut. In 1998, she published her autobiography Fifty-Five Years in Five Acts: My Life in Opera, written with Donald Arthur (German title is Hab’ mir’s gelobt).

In 2004, a documentary about her life and first New York career entitled Never Before received acclaim in the USA. Her recordings of Strauss heroines such as Elektra and Salome along with the Wagnerian roles are among the treasures of the medium, while transcriptions of broadcast performances of her great roles document her art in sound, and a few video recordings of her late career preserve evidence of her acting ability. Varnay died in Munich on 4 September 2006 at age 88.

Bayreuther Festspiele

1951-67

Metropolitan Opera

[Met Performance] CID:132140   
Die Walküre {326}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/6/1941
Debuts: Astrid Varnay, Mary Van Kirk, Maria Van Delden
Broadcast
Review
[Met Performance] CID:132220
Die Walküre {327}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/12/1941
[Met Performance] CID:132550
Lohengrin {446}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/9/1942
Debut: Lothar Wallerstein
Reviews
[Met Performance] CID:132640
Lohengrin {447}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/17/1942
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:132720
Tannhäuser {328}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/23/1942
Review
[Met Performance] CID:132770
American Red Cross Festival Performance
Phoebus and Pan {3}

Metropolitan Opera House; 01/27/1942
Review
[Met Performance] CID:132800
Lohengrin {448}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/29/1942
[Met Performance] CID:132860
Lohengrin {449}
American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 02/3/1942
Review
[Met Performance] CID:132940
Lohengrin {450}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/9/1942
[Met Performance] CID:132990
Tannhäuser {329}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/14/1942
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:133070
World Premiere
Pagliacci {356}
The Island God {1}

Metropolitan Opera House; 02/20/1942
Review
[Met Performance] CID:133180
Pagliacci {357}
The Island God {2}

Metropolitan Opera House; 03/2/1942
[Met Performance] CID:133270
The Island God {3}
La Bohème {356}

Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 03/10/1942
Review
[Met Performance] CID:133290
Pagliacci {358}
The Island God {4}

Metropolitan Opera House; 03/12/1942
[Met Performance] CID:133320
Lohengrin {452}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/14/1942
[Met Performance] CID:133370
Lohengrin {453}
Metropolitan Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; 03/19/1942
Review
[Met Performance] CID:133420
Die Walküre {329}
Metropolitan Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts; 03/24/1942
Review
[Met Performance] CID:133520
Lohengrin {454}
Cleveland Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio; 04/7/1942
Review
[Met Performance] CID:134410
Lohengrin {455}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/2/1943
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:134460
Tannhäuser {332}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/7/1943
[Met Performance] CID:134520
Lohengrin {456}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/13/1943
[Met Performance] CID:134690
Lohengrin {457}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/28/1943
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:135220
Gala Program
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/14/1943
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:136130
Gala Sunday Night Program
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/5/1943
[Met Performance] CID:136150
Die Walküre {334}
American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 12/7/1943
Debut: Christine Johnson
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:136270
Gala Sunday Night Program
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/19/1943
[Met Performance] CID:136500
Tannhäuser {338}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/12/1944
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:136550
Gala Program
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/16/1944
[Met Performance] CID:136750
Tannhäuser {339}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/5/1944
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:136870
Die Walküre {336} Ring Cycle [73] Uncut
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/15/1944
Review
[Met Performance] CID:137030
Götterdämmerung {153} Ring Cycle [73] Uncut
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/29/1944
Reviews
[Met Performance] CID:137330
Parsifal {159}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/29/1944
Review
[Met Performance] CID:137430
Tannhäuser {341}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/6/1944
[Met Performance] CID:137470
Götterdämmerung {154} Ring Cycle [74]
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/8/1944
[Met Performance] CID:138120
Götterdämmerung {155}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/8/1944
Review
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:138150
Gala Program
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/10/1944
[Met Performance] CID:138640
Lohengrin {462}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/26/1945
[Met Performance] CID:138750
Tristan und Isolde {310}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/3/1945
Debut: Frederic Gynrod
Review
[Met Performance] CID:138930
Götterdämmerung {156} Ring Cycle [75] Uncut
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/20/1945
Review
[Met Performance] CID:138970
Lohengrin {463}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/24/1945
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:139130
Das Rheingold {92} Ring Cycle [76]
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/10/1945
Review
[Met Performance] CID:139180
Lohengrin {464}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/15/1945
[Met Performance] CID:139210
Die Walküre {342} Ring Cycle [76]
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/17/1945
[Met Performance] CID:139390
Götterdämmerung {158} Ring Cycle [76]
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/31/1945
[Met Performance] CID:139640
Tristan und Isolde {314}
Milwaukee Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 04/24/1945
Review
[Met Performance] CID:139660
Die Walküre {343}
Northrup Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 04/27/1945
Review
[Met Performance] CID:139690
Die Walküre {344}
Milwaukee Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 04/29/1945
Review
[Met Performance] CID:140240
Tannhäuser {346}
American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 12/18/1945
Review
[Met Performance] CID:140280
Lohengrin {468}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/22/1945
Broadcast
Review
[Met Performance] CID:140330
Tannhäuser {347}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/27/1945
Review
[Met Performance] CID:140660
Die Walküre {345}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/25/1946
[Met Performance] CID:140790
Die Walküre {346}
American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 02/5/1946
[Met Performance] CID:140850
Götterdämmerung {159}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/11/1946
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:140910
Gala Performance
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/17/1946
Lauritz Melchior’s 20th Anniversary
Reviews
[Met Performance] CID:141010
Tannhäuser {349}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/27/1946
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:141060
Gala Program
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/3/1946
[Met Performance] CID:141160
Götterdämmerung {160}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/14/1946
[Met Performance] CID:141280
Tannhäuser {350}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/23/1946
[Met Performance] CID:141320
Götterdämmerung {161}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/27/1946
[Met Performance] CID:141360
Die Walküre {347}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/30/1946
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:141390
Tannhäuser {351}
Lyric Theater, Baltimore, Maryland; 04/2/1946
[Met Performance] CID:141500
Die Walküre {348}
Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts; 04/12/1946
Review
[Met Performance] CID:141810
Die Walküre {349}
Civic Opera House, Chicago, Illinois; 05/10/1946
Review
[Met Performance] CID:143240
Die Walküre {350}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/5/1946
[Met Performance] CID:143410
Die Walküre {351}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/21/1946
Review
[Met Performance] CID:143450 
Lohengrin {470}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/26/1946
Review
[Met Performance] CID:143580
Tristan und Isolde {321}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/4/1947
[Met Performance] CID:143600
Siegfried {203}
American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 01/7/1947
Review
[Met Performance] CID:143720 
Die Walküre {352}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/17/1947
Debut: Mihály Székely
Review
[Met Performance] CID:143880
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {243}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/1/1947
Review
[Met Performance] CID:143890
Die Walküre {353}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/3/1947
[Met Performance] CID:144000
Lohengrin {473}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/14/1947
[Met Performance] CID:144030
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {244}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/17/1947
Review
[Met Performance] CID:144060
Siegfried {205}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/20/1947
Review
[Met Performance] CID:144110
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {245}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/26/1947
[Met Performance] CID:144230
Die Walküre {354}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/8/1947
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:144250
Tristan und Isolde {324}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/10/1947
Review
[Met Performance] CID:146040
Tannhäuser {358}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/13/1947
Review
[Met Performance] CID:146120
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {246}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/21/1947
Review
[Met Performance] CID:146220
Tannhäuser {359}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/1/1947
Review
[Met Performance] CID:146510
Tannhäuser {360}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/27/1947
Review
[Met Performance] CID:146890
Tannhäuser {361}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/30/1948
Review
[Met Performance] CID:147050
Tannhäuser {362}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/13/1948
[Met Performance] CID:147140
Tristan und Isolde {328}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/20/1948
[Met Performance] CID:147310
Tannhäuser {364}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/6/1948
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:147330
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {251}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/8/1948
Review
[Met Performance] CID:147370
Tannhäuser {365}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/12/1948
[Met Performance] CID:149580
Tristan und Isolde {334}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/22/1949
Review
[Met Performance] CID:149980
Siegfried {212}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/28/1949
[Met Performance] CID:152040
Simon Boccanegra {21}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/28/1949
Review
[Met Performance] CID:152160
Simon Boccanegra {22}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/9/1949
[Met Performance] CID:152190
Die Walküre {364}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/12/1949
Debut: Ferdinand Frantz
Review
[Met Performance] CID:152280
Die Walküre {365}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/21/1949
Debut: Helena Braun
Review
[Met Performance] CID:152370
Lohengrin {480}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/30/1949
Review
[Met Performance] CID:152410
Simon Boccanegra {24}
American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 01/3/1950
[Met Performance] CID:152450
Lohengrin {481}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/7/1950
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:152510
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {253}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/12/1950
Review
[Met Performance] CID:152600
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {254}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/20/1950
[Met Performance] CID:152660
Gianni Schicchi {47}
Salome {32}

Metropolitan Opera House; 01/26/1950
Debut: Paul Schöffler
Review
[Met Performance] CID:152680
Simon Boccanegra {25}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/28/1950
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:152720
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {255}
American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 01/31/1950
[Met Performance] CID:153010
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {257}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/27/1950
[Met Performance] CID:153020 
Tosca {290}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/28/1950
Review
[Met Performance] CID:153030
Simon Boccanegra {26}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/1/1950
[Met Performance] CID:153180
Lohengrin {486}
Lyric Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland; 03/15/1950
[Met Performance] CID:153630
Lohengrin {490}
Fox Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia; 04/25/1950
[Met Performance] CID:153720
Lohengrin {491}
City Auditorium, Houston, Texas; 05/2/1950
[Met Performance] CID:153750
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {259}
Northrup Memorial Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 05/5/1950
[Met Performance] CID:153820
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {260}
Civic Opera House, Chicago, Illinois; 05/11/1950
[Met Performance] CID:155010 
New production
Der Fliegende Holländer {45}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/9/1950
Debut: Hans Hotter, Sven Nilsson, Charles Elson
Review
[Met Performance] CID:155040
Der Fliegende Holländer {46}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/13/1950
[Met Performance] CID:155100
Der Fliegende Holländer {47}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/18/1950
[Met Performance] CID:155360
Der Fliegende Holländer {49}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/14/1950
[Met Performance] CID:155520  Opera News
Der Fliegende Holländer {50}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/30/1950
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:155670
Der Fliegende Holländer {52}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/12/1951
[Met Performance] CID:155890
Die Walküre {370} Ring Cycle [79]
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/1/1951
Debut: Günther Treptow
Review
[Met Performance] CID:155910
Die Walküre {371} Ring Cycle [80]
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/3/1951
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:155990
Cavalleria Rusticana {344}
Pagliacci {383}

Metropolitan Opera House; 02/9/1951
[Met Performance] CID:156100
Tristan und Isolde {346}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/19/1951
[Met Performance] CID:156210
Tristan und Isolde {347}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/28/1951
[Met Performance] CID:156340
Siegfried {215}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/12/1951
[Met Performance] CID:156350
Cavalleria Rusticana {348}
Pagliacci {387}

Metropolitan Opera House; 03/13/1951
[Met Performance] CID:156710
Tristan und Isolde {350}
Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts; 04/15/1951
[Met Performance] CID:156780
Cavalleria Rusticana {350}
Pagliacci {389}

Cleveland Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio; 04/21/1951
[Met Performance] CID:158330
Götterdämmerung {172}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/17/1951
Review
[Met Performance] CID:158430
Cavalleria Rusticana {356} Pagliacci {395}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/27/1951
Review
[Met Performance] CID:158720
Götterdämmerung {174}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/22/1952
Review
[Met Performance] CID:158820
Götterdämmerung {175}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/1/1952
Review
[Met Performance] CID:158990
Elektra {15}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/18/1952
Debut: Walburga Wegner
Review
[Met Performance] CID:159050  Opera News
Elektra {16}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/23/1952
Broadcast
Review
[Met Performance] CID:159200
Elektra {17}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/7/1952
[Met Performance] CID:159250
Elektra {18}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/12/1952
[Met Performance] CID:159340
Elektra {19}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/20/1952
[Met Performance] CID:159500
Parsifal {183}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/4/1952
Review
[Met Performance] CID:159570
Parsifal {185}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/11/1952
[Met Performance] CID:159650
Gianni Schicchi {56} Salome {41}
Music Hall, Cleveland, Ohio; 04/18/1952
Debut: Gloria Lyons
[Met Performance] CID:159690
Gianni Schicchi {57} Salome {42}
Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts; 04/22/1952
[Met Performance] CID:161700
Der Rosenkavalier {144}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/22/1953
Debuts: Endre Koreh, Adelino Palomanos, Rudolf Mayreder
Review
[Met Performance] CID:161750
Der Rosenkavalier {145}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/26/1953
[Met Performance] CID:161860
Der Rosenkavalier {146}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/4/1953
[Met Performance] CID:162040
Der Rosenkavalier {147}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/21/1953
Debut: Dorothy Shawn
[Met Performance] CID:162120
Der Rosenkavalier {148}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/28/1953
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:162240
Der Rosenkavalier {149}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/12/1953
[Met Performance] CID:162330
Der Rosenkavalier {150}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/20/1953
[Met Performance] CID:162360
Parsifal {187}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/23/1953
Review
[Met Performance] CID:162480
Parsifal {189}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/3/1953
[Met Performance] CID:162660
Der Rosenkavalier {151}
Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio; 04/18/1953
[Met Performance] CID:162720
Der Rosenkavalier {152}
Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts; 04/23/1953
[Met Performance] CID:162910
Der Rosenkavalier {153}
Fair Park Auditorium, Dallas, Texas; 05/9/1953
[Met Performance] CID:162970
Der Rosenkavalier {154}
Northrup Auditorium, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 05/15/1953
[Met Performance] CID:164390
New production
Tannhäuser {366}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/26/1953
Dresden version
Reviews
[Met Performance] CID:164410
Tannhäuser {367}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/29/1953
[Met Performance] CID:164520  Opera News
Tannhäuser {368}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/9/1954
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:164580
Tannhäuser {369}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/14/1954
[Met Performance] CID:164800
Die Walküre {372}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/4/1954
Debut: Mariquita Moll
Reviews
[Met Performance] CID:164890
Die Walküre {373}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/13/1954
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:164990
Die Walküre {374}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/23/1954
Debut: Rosalind Elias
Review
[Met Performance] CID:165120
Tannhäuser {370}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/8/1954
[Met Performance] CID:165210
Die Walküre {375}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/17/1954
[Met Performance] CID:165320
Parsifal {190}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/26/1954
Review
[Met Performance] CID:165370
Tannhäuser {371}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/31/1954
[Met Performance] CID:165400
Cavalleria Rusticana {373} Pagliacci {412}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/2/1954
[Met Performance] CID:165440
Tannhäuser {372}
The American Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 04/6/1954
[Met Performance] CID:165550
Parsifal {191}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/16/1954
Review
[Met Performance] CID:165560
Parsifal {192}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/17/1954
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:165590
Tannhäuser {373}
Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio; 04/20/1954
[Met Performance] CID:165710
Tannhäuser {374}
Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts; 04/30/1954
[Met Performance] CID:167780
Tannhäuser {375}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/26/1955
Debut: Rudolf Kempe
Review
[Met Performance] CID:167810
Tannhäuser {376}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/29/1955
Broadcast
Review
[Met Performance] CID:168150
Tristan und Isolde {358}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/3/1955
Debut: Albert Da Costa
Review
[Met Performance] CID:168260
Tristan und Isolde {359}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/12/1955
[Met Performance] CID:168280
Tristan und Isolde {360}
Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 03/15/1955
[Met Performance] CID:168330 Opera News
Tristan und Isolde {361}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/19/1955
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:168370
Parsifal {193}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/23/1955
Review
[Met Performance] CID:168560
Parsifal {194}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/8/1955
Review
[Met Performance] CID:171410
Parsifal {196}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/30/1956
[Met Performance] CID:171480
Parsifal {197}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/6/1956
[Met Performance] CID:184510
Parsifal {203}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/21/1960
Review
[Met Performance] CID:187140  
Elektra {20}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/13/1961
Debuts: Frances Yeend, Mary MacKenzie
Review
[Met Performance] CID:187740
Parsifal {208}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/7/1961
Review
[Met Performance] CID:208610
Elektra {34}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/24/1966
Review
[Met Performance] CID:239600
New Production
Jenufa {7}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/15/1974
Review
[Met Performance] CID:239650
Jenufa {8}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/20/1974
[Met Performance] CID:239750
Jenufa {9}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/30/1974
Debut: Margaret Tynes
[Met Performance] CID:239800
Jenufa {10}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/5/1974
[Met Performance] CID:239870
Jenufa {11}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/12/1974
[Met Performance] CID:239920
Jenufa {12}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/17/1974
[Met Performance] CID:239960 Opera News
Jenufa {13}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/21/1974
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:243440
Elektra {45}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/25/1975
Debuts: Danica Mastilovic, Heinrich Hollreiser
Review
[Met Performance] CID:243500
Elektra {46}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/1/1975
Review
[Met Performance] CID:243560
Elektra {47}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/6/1975
[Met Performance] CID:243590
Elektra {48}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/10/1975
[Met Performance] CID:243650
Elektra {49}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/16/1975
[Met Performance] CID:243900 Opera News
Elektra {50}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/10/1976
Debuts: Roberta Knie
Broadcast
Review
[Met Performance] CID:243950
Elektra {51}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/15/1976
[Met Performance] CID:243990
Elektra {52}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/19/1976
[Met Performance] CID:248190
Salome {105}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/2/1977
[Met Performance] CID:248240
Salome {106}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/7/1977
[Met Performance] CID:248290  Opera News 1 Opera News 2
Salome {107}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/12/1977
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:259570
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny {1}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/16/1979
Debut: Michael Best
Review
[Met Performance] CID:259600
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny {2}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/19/1979
[Met Performance] CID:259650
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny {3}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/24/1979
[Met Performance] CID:259680 
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny {4}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/27/1979
Broadcast / Telecast
Review
[Met Performance] CID:259730
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny {5}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/1/1979
[Met Performance] CID:259760
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny {6}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/5/1979
[Met Performance] CID:259800
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny {7}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/8/1979
[Met Performance] CID:259850
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny {9}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/14/1979
[Met Performance] CID:259910
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny {10}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/19/1979
[Met Performance] CID:259940
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny {11}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/22/1979
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:282880
Lohengrin {591}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/20/1985
Debuts: Gary Lorentzson, Timothy Murtha, Zachary Taylor
Review

Selected recordings 

Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer – Chorus and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival

  • Conductor: Joseph Keilberth
  • Principal singers: Hermann Uhde (Dutchman); Astrid Varnay (Senta); Ludwig Weber (Daland); Rudolf Lustig (Erik); Josef Traxel (Helmsman); Elisabeth Schärtel (Mary)
  • Recording location & date: Bayreuth Festspielhaus, 7, 15, & 19 August 1955 (stereo)
  • Label: Testament SBT2 1384 (2 CDs)

Wagner: Lohengrin – Chorus and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival

  • Conductor: Eugen Jochum
  • Principal singers: Wolfgang Windgassen (Title role); Birgit Nilsson (Elsa); Astrid Varnay (Ortrud); Theo Adam (Konig Heinrich); Hermann Uhde (Telramund); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Heerrufer)
  • Recording location & date: Bayreuth Festspielhaus, 1954
  • Label: Archipel

Wagner: Götterdämmerung – Chorus and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival

  • Conductor: Hans Knappertsbusch
  • Principal singers: Astrid Varnay (Brünnhilde); Josef Greindl (Hagen); Wolfgang Windgassen (Siegfried); Otto Wiener (Gunther)
  • Recording location & date: Bayreuth Festspielhaus, 1958
  • Label: Walhall Eternity Series WLCD 0249 (4 CDs)

Read more

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

Bayreuther Festspiele 1951-67