60 years on, Christa Ludwig remembers reopening the Vienna Opera

Bombed out at the end of the War, the house reopened in November 1955.

The following month Christa Ludwig made her role debut as Octavian in Der Rosekavalier.

‘I remember it so well,’ she told a Vienna audience this morning. ‘I went down a couple of steps in my white-pink dress and everything was white and bright. In that moment, I thought: “Hold it right there. You are so beautiful.’

‘Ich kann mich noch sehr gut erinnern. Ich ging mit meinem weiß-rosa Kleid die paar Stufen hinunter und alles war weiß und hell erleuchtet. Da dachte ich in dem Augenblick nur: *Verweile doch, du bist so schön!‘’.


christa ludwig & co

l-r: Ludwig, concertmaster Walter Barylli, repetiteur Hubert Deutsch

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  • “Hold it right there. You are so beautiful.’

    not really…

    A bit more context to the translation of the famous lines from Faust II would be:

    Then, to the Moment I’d dare say: ‘Stay a while! You are so lovely!’

    *…zu dem Augenblicke möcht’ ich sagen: Verweile doch, du bist so schön!‘’.

  • One of the most treasurable of singers. She seems such a wise/straight talking person whenever I’ve seen her interviewed.

    • To be able to function at all, postwar music life had to scuffle all that utterly embarrassing stuff under the carpet. Only later-on it was allowed to be examined, albeit in small amounts.

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