During her career Birgit Nilsson sang several of the roles in Nibelungenlied; Sieglinde in Die Walküre, and Brünnhilde in Siegfried, Die Walküre and Götterdämmerung. Brünnhilde in Die Walküre was one of her show-piece roles.


Brünnhilde in Valkyrian. The Royal Swedish Opera. Photo Enar Merkel Rydberg

Birgit felt that there was a wide register to play as Brünnhilde in Richard Wagner’s opera. From the wise and peacefully struggling Brünnhilde in Die Walküre to the loving, as awoken by Siegfried, Brünnhilde. In 1949 Birgit sang her first Brünnhilde in Siegfried at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. In 1954 she sang Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung, even this time in Stockholm. The following year she sang Brünnhilde in Die Walküre. Brünnhilde was a recurring role for Birgit in Bayreuth between 1957-70. On November 27, 1967 Birgit Nilsson sang her 100th Brünnhilde in Die Walküre, at the Metropolitan in New York. Birgit’s personal favorite was Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung. She called the final scene ”one of the most genial creations of musical drama.”