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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Martha Modl (March 22, 1912, – December 17, 2001)

Martha Modl - Brunnhilde
Versatile is an adjective one could apply when describing the talent and career of Martha Modl.  One of the preeminent voices in Bayreuth during the 50's and 60's, Modl was part of the triumvirate of Wagnerian sopranos together with Astrid Varnay and Birgit Nilsson.

She was an incredible singing actress, with a career that spanned over 50 years and a repertoire that included the great Dramatic Soprano roles coupled with the great Mezzo roles and then into the realm of what is known as 'character roles'.

We're fortunate to have quite an array of recorded repertoire from Martha Modl opver the years, mostly on disc  but there still remain a few videos.  Recently I purchased a copy on disc of the complete RAI Ring Cycle  conducted by Furtwangler, it is simply stunnig and her Immolation scene is now a personal favourite.

I'd like to share a clip of her Isolde filmed live with Leonard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall in 1958.  This captures Modl at her absolute peak in one of her signature roles.

                              

Happy birthday to a great Diva and Wagnerian, Martha Modl.
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