Danish soprano Inga Nielsen dies at 61

Society Materials 11 February 2008 17:08 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Acclaimed Danish soprano Inga Nielsen who performed on the stages of many of the world's leading opera houses, has died at age 61, her family confirmed Monday.

Nielsen, who had battled with cancer, died late Sunday at a hospital near Copenhagen. She had been slated to perform later this year in Duesseldorf, Germany and Tokyo.

She made her first recording of Christmas carols and Danish folksongs at age nine, and after studies in Vienna, Stuttgart and Budapest became an ensemble member at the Frankfurt Opera in 1975.

During her career she appeared at famed opera houses like the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, Milan and Covent Garden as well as at various festivals including Bayreuth, Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, Aix- en-Provence and Edinburgh.

In addition to a beautiful, versatile voice she was also credited for her stage presence and acting skills.

Nielsen sang parts as diverse as Constanza in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio to Chrysothemis in Elektra by Richard Strauss.

Her repertoire also included leading roles in operas by Richard Wagner, and recitals of works by Beethoven, Haendel, Puccini and Verdi.

Nielsen made a number of recordings.

Nielsen was also said to have inspired the two-act opera The English Cat from 1983 by German composer Hans Werner Henze.

In 1992, Queen Margrethe of Denmark awarded Nielsen the Order of the Dannebrog.