Christa Ludwig (born 16 March 1928) is a retired German lyric mezzo-soprano, distinguished for her performances of opera, Lieder, oratorio, and other major religious works like masses and passions, and solos contained in symphonic literature. Her career spanned from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. She is widely recognised as one of the most significant and distinguished singers of the 20th century. Ludwig made her American debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Dorabella in Così fan tutte in 1959. That same year, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and subsequently sang 121 performances in 15 different roles with the company until 1993. At the Metropolitan Opera, where she quickly became one of the audience's favourites, her repertoire included The Dyer's Wife in the Met's first-ever performances of Die Frau ohne Schatten, the title role and later the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, Klytemnestra in Elektra, Ortrud in Lohengrin, Brangäne inTristan und Isolde, Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, Kundry in Parsifal, the title role in Fidelio, Didon in Les Troyens, Charlotte in Werther, and Amneris in Aida. She first appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1969 as Amneris in Aida. As Ludwig's voice matured, she expanded her repertoire from lyric and spinto mezzo-roles to dramatic roles. Her vast repertory eventually grew to encompass Princess Eboli in Don Carlo which she sang at La Scala in Milan, in Salzburg and in Vienna, the title-role in Carmen, Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), Monteverdi's Octavia (L'incoronazione di Poppea), Dido (Les Troyens), Kundry (Parsifal), Klytemnestra (Elektra) and contemporary roles by von Einem and Orff. She also ventured briefly into the spinto and dramatic soprano repertory with performances of Verdi's Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), Strauss's Dyer's Wife (Die Frau ohne Schatten), the Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) and Beethoven's Leonore (Fidelio). In addition to her opera performances, Ludwig regularly gave recitals of Lieder (together with the German pianist Sebastian Peschko and on occasion, Leonard Bernstein) and as a soloist with orchestras. Her performances of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, Mahler and Strauss are much admired. She also sang Bach and performed and recorded most of his major vocal works.
Walter Berry (8 April 1929 – 27 October 2000) was an Austrian lyric bass-baritone who enjoyed a prominent career in opera. Walter Berry was born in Vienna. He studied voice at the Vienna Music Academy and made his stage debut with the Vienna State Opera in 1947. He became a permanent member of the company in 1950, remaining with that ensemble for his entire career, although he undertook frequent guest appearances elsewhere in Europe and in the UK. He made many memorable appearances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City during the 1960s and '70s in such roles as Barak in Die Frau ohne Schatten, Telramund in Lohengrin, Wotan in Die Walküre, Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, Don Pizarro in Fidelio, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, the Music Master in Ariadne auf Naxos and Leporello in Don Giovanni. He sang his last Barak on 18 November 1984. Berry's other signature roles were Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Figaro and Bluebeard. He was also a noted interpreter of lieder (accompanied often at recitals by the German pianist Sebastian Peschko). Berry appeared, too, in choral works. Performing in light-hearted operettas, particularly Die Fledermaus, was one of his pleasures. Astonishingly, Berry never played on stage in London the role with which he perhaps became most closely linked, Papageno, despite a career on stage that spanned more than 40 years. Berry lent his talents to many highly regarded recordings, including the EMI Classics versions of The Magic Flute (as Papageno) and Beethoven's Fidelio (as Don Pizarro).
He married the leading mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig in 1957; they divorced in 1970. He died in 2000, aged 71, in Vienna.
A link to this wonderful artists personal website:
I send my kind and warm regards,