Schröder-Devrient, Wilhelmine

OPERA SINGER (GERMANY)
BORN 6 Oct 1804, Hamburg - DIED 26 Jan 1860, Coburg
GRAVE LOCATION Dresden: Trinitatisfriedhof, Fiedlerstraße 1, Johannstadt-Nord (I C)

Daughter of the tenor Friedrich Schröder and Sophie Schröder-Bürger, who had been a singer before she became an actress. Wilhelmine danced in Hamburg when she was 9 years old and was already a famous actress when she was 15. After her role in Mozart's "Die Zäuberflöte" she pursued a career as a singer.

In 1823 she married the actor Karl Devrient. The worked together in Dresden and continued to do so for several years after they were divorced in 1828 and she lost their four children.

Wagner saw her as Leonore in Beethoven's "Fidelio" in April 1829 when he was 16 years old. He was deeply impressed and in later years she would become Adriano in his "Rienzi" (1842), Senta in "Der fliegende Holländer" (1843) and Venus in "Tannhäuser" (1845). Before that she appeared in Paris (1830, 1832), Berlin (1831) and London (1832).

In 1847 she married the swindler Döring. Because he was an officer she was forced to leave the stage. The marriage meant financial ruin for her and they were divorced only one year later. She joined the revolution of May 1849 in Dresden and was afterwards imprisoned for a while. In 1850 she married the land owner Heinrich von Bock, but she left him in 1852.

In 1856 she came back as a concert singer, singing songs by Schubert, Mendelssohn and Beethoven. In 1859 she left the stage for good. It is possible that she is the author of the erotical novel "Memoiren einer Sängerin", but probably she only wrote the first of the two parts.

Family
• Husband: Devrient, Karl August

Related persons
• was admired by Wagner, Richard
• was a friend of Weber, Carl Maria von

Events
1829/4/0: Wagner sees Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient in Beethoven's Fidelio
She played the part of Leonore and the sixteen years old Wagner was deeply impressed.

Sources
Nachrichten und Pressemeldungen aus der ganzen Welt auf Infofrosch
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
• Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973

Images

The grave of opera singer Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient at the Trinitatisfriedhof, Dresden.
Picture by Androom (7 Aug 1998)

 


Schröter, Corona

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 15 Sep 2012