Opera Scotland

Helga Pilarczyk Suggest updates

Born nr Braunschweig, 12 March 1925.

Died Hamburg, 15 September 2011.

German soprano.

Helga Pilarczyk was considered to be an excellent singing actress, notable perticularly for her performances in a group of difficult roles in early twentieth century operas. These included Marie in Wozzeck, the title role in Lulu, the Woman in Erwartung, and Renata in The Fiery Angel. She gave a dramatically vivid and girlish portrayal of Salome, even if her voice was sometimes considered lighter than the ideal for this role.

She made her debut in 1951 at Braunschweig, and soon moved to Hamburg, which would become her base for most of her career. Apart from her Edinburgh appearances, either with her home Hamburg company or with Glyndebourne, her other appearances in Britain included the Composer at Glyndebourne (1958) and Salome at Covent Garden (1960). In the USA she sang Erwartung in Washington (1962) and Wozzeck at the Met (1965).

She created the role of Costanza in Hans Werner Henze's König Hirsch (Berlin 1956) and spent her later years teaching at the Hamburg Conservatoire.

Roles in Scotland

Salome daughter of Herodias
Salome 1956
Colombina Arlecchino's wife
Arlecchino 1960

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