Melitta Muszely

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Melitta Muszely
Melitta Muszely "Tales of Hoffmann", Komische Oper Berlin (cropped).jpg
Muszely as Antonia in Offenbach's Hoffmanns Erzählungen, 1958
Born(1927-09-13)13 September 1927
Vienna, Austria
Died18 January 2023(2023-01-18) (aged 95)
Vienna, Austria
EducationWiener Musikakademie
  • Operatic soprano
  • voice teacher

Melitta Muszely[needs IPA] (13 September 1927 – 18 January 2023) was an Austrian operatic soprano and a voice teacher. She made a career based in Germany, mainly at the Hamburg State Opera with guest contracts to the Komische Oper Berlin and the Vienna State Opera, among others. She took part in world premieres, and performed internationally in Europe. She appeared as all four female characters in Offenbach's Hoffmanns Erzählungen in the legendary 1958 production by Walter Felsenstein, and sang recitals until 2008.


Muszely's family originally came from Hungary. She was born in Vienna, and studied at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien: piano with Roland Rautenstrauch, and voice with Maria Freiberg-Marx.[1]

In 1950, she made her debut at the Stadttheater Regensburg. In 1952, she moved to the Opernhaus Kiel, and from 1954 to 1968 she was a member of the Hamburg State Opera.[1] There she took part in several opera premieres, including Ernst Krenek's Pallas Athene weint[2][3] (1955) and Klebe's Figaro läßt sich scheiden (1963).[2][4]

Muszely had several guest contracts, among others with the Berlin State Opera and the Komische Oper Berlin.[1] In 1958, she portrayed four female characters (Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta, Stella) in Offenbach's Hoffmanns Erzählungen at the Komische Oper Berlin in the legendary production by Walter Felsenstein.[2][5][6] In the opera, the poet tells three stories of frustrated love while waiting for Stella. In 1970, she again played the four figures in Felsenstein's DEFA film version of the opera.[7]

Muszely appeared at the Vienna State Opera from 1963 to 1967,[1][2] in the Mozart roles Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She also appeared there as Marzelline in Beethoven's Fidelio, as Marie in Smetana's Die verkaufte Braut, in the title role Violetta Valéry in Verdi's La Traviata, as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss and as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss. [2][8]

International guest performances took Muszely to the Zurich Opera House and opera stages of Paris and Venice, among others.[6] She appeared in Amsterdam in 1954 as the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte. She performed at the Maggio Musicale, in 1956 as both Woglinde and the Voice of a Forest Bird in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, and in 1961 the title role of Arabella by Richard Strauss. She appeared as a guest at the Teatro San Carlos in Lisbon as Arabella and Marie, and in 1967 in the title role of Dvorák's Rusalka. She performed at the Strasbourg Opera in La traviata and as Pamina.[2]

Festival performances included Parasha in Strawinsky's Mavra at the Edinburgh Festival of 1956, Rameau's Castor et Pollux at the 1962 Schwetzingen Festival, Giunia in Mozart's Lucio Silla at the 1964 Salzburg Festival, the Wife in Schoenberg's Von heute auf morgen at the 1965 Wiener Festwochen, and Zelmire in Gluck's L'ivrogne corrigé at the Festival of Flanders the same year. Her roles included Fiorilla in Rossini's Il Turco in Italia, Tatjana in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Mimi in Puccini's La bohème and the title role of Manon Lescaut.[2]

Muszely was also a lieder and concert singer, and a voice teacher. Pianists in her recitals included Erik Werba, Kurt Rapf and Christian Heitler.[1] She appeared in recitals until 2008.[1][6]

Personal life[edit]

Muszely was married to Alfred Filippi, who was also her manager. They lived in Vienna from 1971. When her husband became ill in 1972, she retired from the stage but kept singing concerts and recitals. She kept teaching until her death.[2]

Muszely died in Vienna on 18 January 2023, aged 95.[2]


Muszely became known mainly as a coloratura soprano but also performed lyric soprano repertoire. She was regarded as a specialist for Mozart roles, but also for characters by Richard Strauss, such as Sophie and the title role of Arabella. She also performed in rarely performed operas, such as the title role in Busoni's Turandot.[9]


Muszely's musical work, which has been transmitted through radio recordings, live recordings and records, has been partially re-released on CD in recent years. Muszely also recorded numerous operettes for radio, often as a partner of Fritz Wunderlich: Lehár's Der Zarewitsch and The Land of Smiles, and Leo Fall's Die Rose von Stambul.[10][11] Recordings include:


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Muszely (verh. Filippi), Melitta". (in German). Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Melitta Muszely ist am 18. Januar 2023 in Wien verstorben". Online Merker (in German). 28 January 2023. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  3. ^ "Pallas Athene weint".
  4. ^ Müller-Marein, Josef (5 July 1963). "Rokoko emigriert in die Gegenwart / Giselher Klebes neue Oper "Figaro läßt sich scheiden" in Hamburg uraufgeführt". Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Szenenbilder aus der Oper "Hoffmanns Erzählungen" von Jacques Offenbach in der Inszenierung von Walter Felsenstein (musikal. Leitung: Václav Neumann, Bühnenbild und Kostüme: R. Heinrich). Komische Oper Berlin, 25.01.1958". (in German). 25 January 1958. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Blühende Sopranstimmen – Hilde Güden und Melitta Muszely" (in German). Austrian Radio. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b Steiger, Karsten (2011). Opern-Diskographie: Verzeichnis aller Audio- und Video-Gesamtaufnahmen (in German). Walter de Gruyter. pp. 459, 660. ISBN 978-3-11-095596-5.
  8. ^ "Vorstellungen mit Melitty Muszely" (in German). Vienna State Opera. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  9. ^ Melitta Muszely on JPC
  10. ^ Fritz Wunderlich's Colleagues anthology by Andreas Praefcke
  11. ^ "Recordings by Melitta Muszely | Stream on IDAGIO". IDAGIO.
  12. ^ Der Freischütz : (Auszüge); [eine Aufnahme vom November 1957 aus dem NDR Studio III in Hamburg WorldCat
  13. ^ Heinrich Hollreiser / Bedrich Smetana: Die verkaufte Braut AllMusic
  14. ^ Recordings on


External links[edit]