Rita Streich |

Rita Streich |

Rita Streich

Date of birth
Date of death
Voice type

Rita Streich |

Rita Streich was born in Barnaul, Altai Krai, Russia. Her father Bruno Streich, a corporal in the German army, was captured on the fronts of the First World War and was poisoned to Barnaul, where he met a Russian girl, the future mother of the famous singer Vera Alekseeva. On December 18, 1920, Vera and Bruno had a daughter, Margarita Shtreich. Soon the Soviet government allowed the German prisoners of war to return home and Bruno, together with Vera and Margarita, went to Germany. Thanks to her Russian mother, Rita Streich spoke and sang well in Russian, which was very useful for her career, at the same time, because of her “not pure” German, there were some problems with the fascist regime at the beginning.

Rita’s vocal abilities were discovered early, starting from elementary school she was the leading performer at school concerts, at one of which she was noticed and taken to study in Berlin by the great German opera singer Erna Berger. Also at various times among her teachers were the famous tenor Willy Domgraf-Fassbender and the soprano Maria Ifogyn.

The debut of Rita Streich on the opera stage took place in 1943 in the city of Ossig (Aussig, now Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic) with the role of Zerbinetta in the opera Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss. In 1946, Rita made her debut at the Berlin State Opera, in the main troupe, with the part of Olympia in the Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offebach. After that, her stage career began to take off, which lasted until 1974. Rita Streich remained at the Berlin Opera until 1952, then moved to Austria and spent almost twenty years on the stage of the Vienna Opera. Here she married and in 1956 gave birth to a son. Rita Streich possessed a bright coloratura soprano and easily performed the most difficult parts in the world operatic repertoire, she was called the “German Nightingale” or “Viennese Nightingale”.

During her long career, Rita Streich also performed in many world theaters – she had contracts with La Scala and the Bavarian radio in Munich, sang in Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, as well as Rome, Venice, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, traveled to Japan, Australia and New Zealand, performed at the Salzburg, Bayreuth and Glyndebourne Opera Festivals.

Her repertoire included almost all significant opera parts for soprano. She was known as the best performer of the roles of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Ankhen in Weber’s Free Gun and others. Her repertoire included, among other things, works by Russian composers, which she performed in Russian. She was also considered an excellent interpreter of the operetta repertoire and folk songs and romances. She has worked with the best orchestras and conductors in Europe and has recorded 65 major records.

After completing her career, Rita Streich has been a professor at the Academy of Music in Vienna since 1974, taught at a music school in Essen, gave master classes, and headed the Center for the Development of Lyrical Art in Nice.

Rita Streich died on March 20, 1987 in Vienna and was buried in the old city cemetery next to her father Bruno Streich and mother Vera Alekseeva.

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