Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann

Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann

German contralto singer
Date of Birth: 15.07.1878
Country: Germany

Biography of Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann

Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann was a German contralto singer, renowned for her exceptional talent in performing Wagnerian roles, who gained fame in the early 20th century. Born on July 15, 1878, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, she began her musical education under the tutelage of Selma Nicklass-Kempner in Berlin. She also studied with Georg Vogel and received acting lessons from Emanuel Reicher.

Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann

Metzger-Lattermann made her debut in Halle in 1898 and went on to have a long and fruitful career, acquiring an extensive repertoire. Prior to becoming a leading contralto at the Hamburg Opera from 1903 to 1915, she spent three years in Cologne. During her time in Hamburg, she had the opportunity to perform alongside renowned opera singers of her time, including Enrico Caruso in Carmen and Aida when he appeared as a guest star in Hamburg.

Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann

Following her success in Hamburg, Metzger-Lattermann went on to perform in prestigious theaters in Dresden, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Leipzig, Düsseldorf, Prague, Zurich, Oslo, Amsterdam, The Hague, Munich, Budapest, and Covent Garden in London. In 1913, she toured the United States as a soloist accompanied by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. In the early 1920s, she returned to America alongside conductor and composer Leo Blech before eventually returning to Germany.

Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann

Metzger-Lattermann's repertoire included roles such as Dalila in Samson et Dalila by Saint-Saëns, Magdalena in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, Azucena in Il Trovatore, various Norns and Valkyries in Der Ring des Nibelungen, both Frickas, Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, Herodias in Salome by Strauss, Klytemnestra in Elektra by Strauss, and Fidès in Le prophète by Meyerbeer.

She participated in the premieres of Siegfried Wagner's Bruder Lustig in 1905, Leo Blech's Versiegelt in 1908, and Eugen d'Albert's Izyel in 1909, all performed in Hamburg. However, her career took a downturn in 1925 when her husband, Theodor Lattermann, fell ill and passed away on March 4, 1926, at the age of 46.

From 1927, Metzger-Lattermann taught singing at the Stern'sches Konservatorium in Berlin, where she had once been a student. She was also considered an unmatched concert singer and continued to perform in recitals, with one of her accompanists being the renowned Richard Strauss. Her last major concert took place in 1933.

During the Nazi era, Metzger-Lattermann continued to perform for Jewish audiences. In 1933, American impresario George Blumental attempted to arrange American tours for a group of 12 Jewish opera artists led by Leo Blech, and Ottilie was included in the list. However, this plan failed to materialize. In 1939, the singer and her daughter attempted to flee to Brussels, but they were later captured and sent to a concentration camp. In late 1942, they were deported to Auschwitz. The exact date of their demise is unknown, but it is known that Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann and her daughter did not survive beyond February 1943.

In the 1970s, a memorial plaque with her name as a victim of Nazi concentration camps was installed in Bayreuth.

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