Schröder-Devrient, Wilhelmine

BORN 6 Oct 1804, Hamburg - DIED 26 Jan 1860, Coburg, Bayern
GRAVE LOCATION Dresden, Sachsen: 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.
She befriended Carl Maria von Weber and on 31 Mar 1824 she sang the title in his "Euryanthe" at the Dresden premiere and the opera was miuch more successful now thean it had been in 1923 in Vienna where Henriette Sontag had sung the title part.

In 1823 she had married the actor Karl Devrient. They worked together in Dresden and continued to do so for several years after they were divorced in 1828. When they divorced she lost the care to 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.

• Mother: Schröder-Bürger, Sophie
• Husband: Devrient, Karl August (1823-1828)

Related persons
• visited Beer, Amalie
• cooperated with Tichatscheck, Joseph
• was admired by Wagner, Richard
• was a friend of Weber, Carl Maria von

0/4/1829Wagner sees Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient in Beethoven's Fidelio. She played the part of Leonore. Wagner, who was sixteen years old, was deeply impressed. [Wagner, Richard]
10/7/1837Chopin arrives in London with Camille Pleyel. They left Paris on 9 July and took the ferry at Boulogne. They were in London for eleven days. Chopin insisted they went incognito so he could enjoy London as a tourist. They were accompanied by the poet Egbert Kozmian. They had a carriage and visited Windsor, Blackwell and Richmond. Chopin visited opera's and also a concert by Moscheles, but he remained incognito. He also saw and heard Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient in Beethoven's "Fidelio". Chopin accompanied Pleyel to a soirée at the home of the piano manufacturer J.S. Blackwood where he was introduced as Mr. Fritz from Paris. But he couldn't resist to play the piano and he was soon recognised. Chopin signed contracts with music publisher Wessel. He wouldn't return to Great Britain until 1848. [Chopin, Frédéric][Pleyel, Camille]
5/9/1841Caroline Unger leaves the stage in Dresden. She played the part of Antonia in Donizetti's "Belisario". Meyerbeer was in the audience and words were spoken by Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient and Karoline Bauer. [Meyerbeer, Giacomo][Unger, Caroline]
20/10/1842Premiere of Richard Wagner's opera "Rienzi" at the Royal Court Theatre in Dresden. It was a huge succes. It was conducted by Carl Reissiger. Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient was Adriano and Joseph Tichatschek was Rienzi. [Reissiger, Carl][Tichatscheck, Joseph][Wagner, Richard]
2/1/1843Premiere of Richard Wagner's opera "Der Fliegende Holländer" in Dresden. The premiere was supposed to take place in Berlin but eventually it was at the Royal Court Theatre in Dresden. Wagner was the conductor. Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient was Senta and Johann Michael Wächter was the Dutchman. [Wagner, Richard]
19/10/1845Premiere of Richard Wagner's opera "Tannhäusser" in Dresden. Richard Wagner conducted the opera himself. Josef Tichatschek was Tannhäuser, Johanna Wagner was Elisabeth and Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient was Venus. Other singers were Anton Mitterwurzer and Johann Michael Wächter. [Tichatscheck, Joseph][Wagner, Richard]


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


The grave of Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient at the Trinitatisfriedhof, Dresden.
Picture by Androom (27 Aug 2012)


• Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909 - This website is for sale! - infofrosch Resources and Information.
Caroline Unger – Wikipedia
Tannhäuser (opera) - Wikipedia
Der fliegende Holländer - Wikipedia

Schröter, Corona

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 25 Apr 2022