Gadski, Johanna Tauscher


Famous Wagnerian soprano, who by universal consent takes first place among the great singers of the present day. She is equally as popular in America as in her native Germany, and is probably the most highlygifted of all the German lyric sopranos. Mme. Gadski was born in Stettin, Prussia, of German and Polish parentage, and when a child of nine her great voice was discovered. She was placed in care of Mme. Schroeder Chalouple in Stettin, and from this great teacher learned all that she knows of the art of singing. At twelve she appeared as a vocalist at a concert in her native town, but her real debut was made when she was seventeen, her initial appearance being in the title role of Lortzing's opera, Undine, at Kroll's Theatre, in Berlin. Her success was such that she was promptly re-engaged by Director Engel for the next three seasons, during which she sang leading parts in the standard operas. In 1894, following an extended concert tour through Germany and Holland, she sang at the Royal Opera House, Berlin, and there was heard by Walter Damrosch, who immediately made her an offer to sing in opera under his direction in the United States. Mme. Gadski was heard first in this country March, 1895, making her appearance as Elsa in Lohengrin, and her triumph in the role was little short of sensational. For two seasons she remained a member of the DamroschEllis Company, constantly increasing her repertory and steadily gaining in public favor. Her success in interpreting the great Wagnerian parts made her doubly secure in the affections of American audiences. From this time the singer became an established favorite in this country.

For several years she has been one of the most popular members of the Metropolitan Opera Company and has been heard as Eva in Die Meistersinger, Elsa in Lohengrin, Elizabeth in Tannhauser, Senta in The Flying Dutchman, Brunhilde in the Nibelungen Lied music-dramas and in many other Wagnerian parts. During the season of 1906 Mme. Gadski essayed for the first time the role of Isolde in Wagner's great love-drama, Tristan and Isolde, and sang it to enthusiastic applause. Mme. Gadski is popular in London, where she is frequently heard at Covent Garden, and at Bayreuth, where her singing of the part of Eva in Die Meistersinger and her Brunhilde have brought her special commendation. In Munich her appearance in three of the Ring performances led to her being decorated by the Prince Regent Luitpold with King Ludwig's Order of Art and Science a rare distinction. In addition to the roles mentioned, Mme. Gadski has sung the part of Aida, the role of the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, in Les Huguenots, Cavalleria Rusticana, Sieglinde, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Anna in La Dame Blanche, Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, and the leading part in Miss Ethel Smith's opera, Der Wald, when it was produced in 1903 by the Metropolitan Opera Company.

Mme. Gadski is equally successful as a concert singer and her interpretation of the beautiful songs of Schubert, Schumann and Franz is unexcelled. Her voice is a lyric soprano of wonderful beauty and flexibility, and her singing is always marked by the greatest artistic finish. In private life the singer is Mme. Tauscher, the wife of Herr Tauscher, formerly of the Imperial army, who resigned his commission at the time of their marriage in 1891.