Die Färberin

It took many years to convince Birgit Nilsson to sing the role of the Die Färberin in Richard Strauss’ opera Die Frau ohne Schatten. Die Färberin was also the last major role study in Birgit’s repertoire.

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Metropolitan Opera Archives

In 1975 it was time for Birgit Nilsson’s final new part in her repertoire, and once again her debut was made at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. Die Färberin is known to me one of the most difficult and demanding roles for a dramatic soprano. It took many years to convince Birgit to take on the part of Die Färberin. She first perceived the role as very difficult, with its varying tempos and difficult intervals. During her study her confidence dropped, and she was close to renouncing the commission. When she at last began to sing the part with an orchestra, all of her difficulties suddenly evaporated. ”Then your voice is borne upon light wings throughout all tribulations”, she said afterwards. The performance in Stockholm was a great success for all who were involved. Later on Birgit sang the part in Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna, Hamburg and other cities. Die Färberin became at last one of Birgit Nilsson’s favorite parts.