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Maria Madlen Madsen (23 March 1905 â€“ 23 March 1990), temporarily also under the stage name Gerda Hansi, was a German operatic soprano, theatre, film and television actress.
Born in Krefeld, Madsen grew up in Hamburg, went to school there and studied classical singing with Robert DÃ¤hmke for four years. Under the stage name Gerda Hansi she first worked between 1926 and 1929 as a program employee (singer) for the SÃ¼ddeutscher Rundfunk and became known there as the "SchwÃ¤bische Nachtigall" (Swabian Nightingale). She also took part in a new form of broadcasting which was popular among the listeners at the time, the Stadt-Portraits presented as a radio play. Parallel to this she was taught in Stuttgart by the pedagogue Daimler.
From 1929 to 1934 she was engaged by the Opernhaus ZÃ¼rich in Switzerland, where she took part in the premiere of Zemlinsky's Der Kreidekreis in 1933.
From 1934 she was engaged by the Oper Frankfurt. For Madsen began a twelve-year lasting great career in the Third Reich as coloratura-soubrette. She participated in the premiere of Werner Egk's Die Zaubergeige on 22 May 1935 as Gretl and in the premiere of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana on 8 June 1937 as a soloist.
Guest performances led Madsen to the Berlin State Opera, Wroclaw, Semperoper Dresden, Hamburg State Opera, Bavarian State Opera Munich and Staatstheater Stuttgart, abroad in the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Belgrade, Bologna and Paris Opera.