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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Die Meistersingerin: 1917

Die Meistersingerin: 1917

February 1917, New York. "Frieda Hempel." The German soprano and Metropolitan Opera star. 4x6 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.

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Die Meistersingerin im Die Meistersinger

New York Times/March 28, 1914:
Frieda Hempel appeared at the Metropolitan Opera House last night in the role of Eva in "Die Meistersinger" for the first time here, and achieved great success. It was also the first appearance this season of Mme. Homer as Magdalene, and of Herbert Witherspoon as Pogner. The rest of the cast was familiar, including as it did Rudolf Berger as Walther, Hermann Weil as Plans Sachs, Otto Goritz as Beckmesser, and Albert Reiss as David.

Eine saftige Sopran

I wonder if she actually ever sang Eva in my least favorite Wagner opera. Die Meistersinger is supposed to be a comedy!

Believe It Or Not

Our opera star was only 31 years old at the time of this photograph.


She was an amazing coloratura soprano! Some coloraturas are great at singing the runs, but their voices don't have much substance for anything else. Frieda's was amazing, no matter what she was singing!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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