Soprano Mechthild Gessendorf (above) made her operatic debut with the Vienna Kammeroper in 1962, subsequently joining the opera companies of Bremen and Bonn. Her career eventually took her to Munich, Salzburg, Paris, Berlin, La Scala and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Ms. Gessendorf made her Met debut in 1986 as the Marschallin in ROSENKAVALIER. In 1989, I saw her as Sieglinde in WALKURE and later as Kaiserin in FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN and in the title-role of Strauss's ARIADNE AUF NAXOS. She also sang Senta and Elisabeth in TANNHAUSER at The Met.
Of my first encounter with Gessendorf - as Sieglinde - I wrote "We have a wonderful new diva in Mechthild Gessendorf. She is, on the basis of this performance, a thrilling addition to the vocal gallery. Her bright, almost girlish tone takes on a shining dramatic edge at the top, with a warm lower register and clear middle. The high notes can be attacked or slightly scooped..they are exciting! Gessendorf gave a glorious Sieglinde, full of feminine power and real emotional commitment."
Mechthild Gessendorf sings Strauss's Befreit here.