An Associated Press report by Shino Yuasa Wednesday (8/18) states, “Soprano Hildegard Behrens, one of the finest Wagnerian performers of her generation, has died while traveling in Japan. She was 72. Jonathan Friend, artistic administrator of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, said Tuesday in an e-mail to opera officials that Behrens felt unwell while traveling to a festival near Tokyo. She went to a Tokyo hospital, where she died of an apparent aneurism. … According to Behren’s official Web site, she was born in the north German town of Varel-Oldenburg. Her parents were both doctors and she and her five siblings studied piano and violin as children. It said she earned a law degree from the University of Freiburg, where she also was a member of the student choir. She was named singer of the year in 1997 by the German opera magazine Die Opernwelt and singer of the year for 1996 by the German opera magazine Orpheus.”

Posted August 19, 2009