LETTER FROM BAYREUTH
By Frances Martin
1 DVD / $10
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After studies with Karin Branzell in 1957 and 1958, Frances Martin auditioned and was accepted in the Master Class series at the Bayreuth Festival in 1959. She then became the only member of the class to win a contract at Bayreuth and made her operatic debut at the Bayreuth Festival singing Ortlinde, one of the Valkyries in Wagner's Die Walküre.
Shortly after her debut, she wrote a 3-page letter to her parents in Georgia chronicling the event, and that formed the basis for this 21 minute video. I find the combination of her being thrust into the operatic world at the mecca of Richard Wagner and her colorful Southern accent quite endearing. The video ends with a live performance of "O don fatale" from Don Carlo as background to pictures of her in roles she sang in Germany in the early 1960s.
This video was first shown on December 15, 2012, Ms. Martin's 86th birthday.
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