Big one for Brigitte

Big one for Brigitte


norman lebrecht

January 27, 2011

The wonderful Brigitte Fassbaender, once a famous mezzo soprano and now Intendant of a medium-size opera house in Innsbruck, has been appointed an honorary Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur by the French Government.

That, for some reason, has made by day. All too often singers get forgotten once they step off into retirement, even if they continue to play an active role in theatre management (this may be one why Placido Domingo, now 70, tries to do both). Fassbaender had a unique timbre and was part of the extraordinary 1960s ensemble at Bavarian State Opera in Munich before taking up an intenational career.
She talked to me with great candour three years ago about her parents’  happy times with the Nazis, about difficulties with colleagues and about her own sexuality. I have seldom met a singer who was more at ease with herself, more at home in her skin.
She deserves every gong that’s going. Viel Spass, Brigitte!
Brigitte Fassbaender ist jetzt Ehrenlegionärin.<br />
Foto: dpa



  • Marie Lamb says:

    Always wonderful news to see something like this happening to someone who so richly deserves it! I have a recording of your interview with her, and I can vouch for her refreshing candor. A great artist and a great lady!

    • OracularRose says:

      Hi! You said you have the recording of the interview? Any chance that you could share it? I tried to find it online, but had no luck..

  • Joan Robinson says:

    I totally agree with the comments above. Brigitte was a remarkable singer and by continuing to teach (mainly in Mastercourses) and her involvement in Directing,running the Tiroler Landestheater (with remarkable success), sitting on the jury at singing competitions and participating in many other significant aspects of musical life, she tirelessly strives to give her all to the world of music and theatre.
    I cannot adequately express my delighted that the French Government have honoured her in this way.

  • Marijke Evertzen says:

    About time I would say, she deserves it and more.
    I only regret I never had the chance to listen to the interview you had with her three years ago. I have tried to find it on the Internet but alas it’s nowhere to be found. Do you have any idea where I may find it even a transcript would do.
    NL replies: I’m afraid not, though I will try to persuade the BBC to rerun the interview at some later date.