Fremstad, Olive


Dramatic soprano, at present and for several seasons past, a popular member of the Metropolitan Opera Company. Was born in Stockholm, Sweden. She made her debut at Christiania, Norway, as a pianist at the age of six, and came with her parents when she was twelve years of age to America. The family first settled in St. Peter, Minnesota, later  removing to Minneapolis, and here for several years Olive Fremstad taught music-lessons and studied the violin. She next went to Chicago, continuing her work and her studies, and by dint of hard work and much economy made enough money to go to New York in 1893. For a time she sang in St. Patrick's Cathedral, and in concert. Entirely unaided and through her own efforts, Miss Fremstad earned enough in a few years  to go to Europe to cultivate her voice, which had been pronounced a phenomenally beautiful one. She went direct to Berlin where she studied with Mme. Lilli Lehmann for a year and a half, and made her debut at the end of that time in Vienna singing the role of Brangaene to Mme. Lehmann's Isolde in Tristan and Isolde. The year 1896 found the young singer in Cologne singing the role of Azucena in II Trovatore and other roles equally as difficult. From Cologne, Miss Fremstad went to the Royal Opera at Munich and remained there for three years. While in that city she was appointed kammersinger to the Prince Regent of Bavaria and sang thirty-five different roles there, including Brangaene, Fides, Carmen and Haensel. Miss Fremstad sang at Bayreuth, one of her greatest admirers being Frau Cosima Wagner, under whose direction she studied many of the Wagnerian roles. She appeared as Fricka in Das Rheingold, as Brunhilde in Siegfried, as one of the flower girls in Parsifal and later as Kundry and as Sieglinde. Miss Fremstad made her first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, in 1904, singing the role of Venus in Tannhauser, Kundry in Parsifal and many of the other Wagnerian parts in the series of Wagnerian operatic revivals, instituted by Heinrich Conried. Two years later she sang the part of Brunhilde in the season's first performance of Siegfried. Miss Fremstad created a veritable furore in Germany with her impersonation of Carmen, rivaling Mme. Calve's success in the role. Her Carmen was first presented to an American audience the season of 1905, and she achieved a triumph in it. Since then she has sung the part many times. Miss Fremstad has been successful in the role of Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, and has appeared in L'Africaine. Her most recent appearance was made as Salome in the much talked of opera by Richard Strauss. Miss Fremstad was married in April, 1906, to E. W. Sutphen, a gold miner, from Alaska. She has received many honors, having been decorated by the French govern- ment as an officer of the Academy, and in 1907 as an Officier d'instruction Publique.