Skip to main content

Schumann-Heink, Ernestine, 1861-1936



  • Existence: June 15, 1861 - November 17, 1936


Schumann-Heink was a contralto/mezzo-soprano born in Prague in 1861. She made her operatic debut at the age of 17, performing the role of Azucena in Dresden. A long and fruitful relationship with Bayreuth began in 1896, when she sang Erda in five cycles of the Ring, and lasted until 1914. This period over lapped with a four consecutive seasons at Covent Gardens, a tour of America, and singing the role of Clytemnestra in the 1909 première of Strauss’s Elektra. She gave her final performance at the Metropolitan Opera in 1932. At the time of her retirement, she had performed over 150 different roles.