Brouwenstijn, Gré

BORN 26 Aug 1915, Den Helder, Noord-Holland - DIED 14 Dec 1999, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
BIRTH NAME Van Swol-Brouwenstijn, Gerarda Demphina
GRAVE LOCATION Amsterdam, Noord-Holland: Zorgvlied, Amsteldijk (9-I-125)

Gré Brouwenstijn was educated at the Muzieklyceum in Amsterdam, where Jaap Stroomenbergh, Boris Pelsky and Ruth Horna were her teachers. She debuted at the Dutch Opera in 1939 in Mozart's "Die Zäuberflöte". During the Second World War she performed at concerts for the German Army. In 1946 she joined the Dutch National Opera.

In 1948 to 1953 she married the tenor Jan van Mantgem. In 1951 their son Jan-Paul was born. In 1951 she appeared as Aida at the Royal Opera House in London under Sir John Barbirolli and after that her international career took off. Her most successful part was that of Leonore in Beethoven's "Fidelio". She appeared as Leonore in Vienna, Paris, Stuttgart, Berlin, Buenos Aires and London. She found it hard to combine mothership with an international career and she and her husband amicably ended their marriage in 1953.

From 1954 to 1956 she sang at the Bayreuth Festival in several roles. In 1957 she preferred a holiday above another performance at Bayreuth. Wieland Wagner felt insulted and this effectively meant the end of her collaboration with the Wagner family although she returned once in 1961 to sing the part of Elisabeth in "Tannhäuser". In 1959 she sang in Chicago.

In 1957 she married the former tennis player and current television doctor Hans van Swol (d.2010) and this marriage lasted until her death. Her last public performance took place in 1971 in Amsterdam. After that she retired to Italy with her husband. She died in 1999 in Amsterdam.

Related persons
• cooperated with Wagner, Wieland


The grave of Gré van Brouwenstijn at Zorgvlied, Amsterdam.
Picture by Androom (14 Jul 2005)


Geheugen van Plan Zuid - START
Gré Brouwenstijn - Wikipedia

Brown, Oliver Madox

Published: 01 Jan 2024
Last update: 01 Jan 2024