Friedrich-Materna, Amalie

BORN 10 Jul 1847, St. Georgen, Steiermark - DIED 18 Jan 1918, Wien
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Zentralfriedhof, Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, Simmering (Gruppe 32 A, nummer 41)

Daughter of a schoolteacher. She was raised by her older brother in poor circumstances. After she took singing lessons in Graz she debuted as a soubrette at the Thaliatheater in Graz in "Leichte Kavallerie". She married the opera singer Karl Friedrich and together they were engaged at the Carl-theater in Vienna.

In Vienna, she studied with musical director Proch and in 1869 she debuted at the Hofoper as Selika in Meyerbeer's "Africaine". She worked for the Hofoper until 1894. Richard Wagner met her in Virnna and had a high opinion of her when interpreting his works. He gave her the part of Brünhilde at the first Festspiele in Bayreuth in 1876 and in 1882 she was Kundy in "Parsifal". For weeks before his death in 1883 Wagner wrote her a grateful letter from Venice.

In 1884/1885 she performed in New York. In 1894 she took her leave from the stage as Elisabeth in Wagner's "Tannhäuser". In 1913 she performed one more time, at Wagner's 100th birthday.

Related persons
• worked for Elisabeth von Bayern, Kaiserin von Österreich
• cooperated with Wagner, Richard

10/3/1875Premiere of "Die Königin von Saba" by Karl Goldmark. He was inspired by his pupil Caroline von Gomperz-Bettelheim, whose beauty was compared to that of the Queen of Sheba by a friend. But the opera took very long and she never performed the part. The libretto was by Hermann Salomon Mosenthal and it was performed at the Hofoper in Vienna. Amelie Materna was the Queen of Sheena and other singers were Gustav Walter, Johann Nepomuk Beck, Marie Wilt, Hermine von Siegstädt and Hans von Rokitansky. [Goldmark, Karl][Gomperz-Bettelheim, Caroline von][Wilt, Marie]
13/8/1876Premiere of Wagner's "Ring" in Bayreuth starting with "Das Rheingold". It was performed from August 13th to August 17th. "Das Rheingold" had its premiere in Munich in 1869, but this time the entire "Ring" was performed. Many illiustrious persons were present, among them Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany and King Ludwig II of Bavaria. On the 13th "Das Rheingold" was performed. Among the singers were Franz Betz, Heinrich Vogl, Friederike Grün, Marie Haupt, Eugen Gura, Georg Unger, Louise Jaide, Karl Hill, Max Schlosser, Albert Eilers, Franz von Reichenberg, Lilli Lehmann, Marie Lehmann and Minna Lammert. [Lehmann, Lilli][Lehmann, Marie][Richter, Hans][Vogl, Heinrich][Wagner, Richard][Wilhelm I, emperor of Germany]
14/8/1876Wagner's "Die Walküre" performed in Bayreuth as second part of the full "Ring". Hans Richter was the conductor. Among the singers were Albert Niemann, Josephine Schefsky, Franz Betz, Friederike Grün, Amelie Materna, Marie Haupt, Lilli Lehmann, Marie Lehmann, Luise Kaide, Johanna Jachmann-Wagner, Hedwig Reicher-Kindermann and Minna Lammert. [Lehmann, Lilli][Lehmann, Marie][Niemann, Albert][Reicher-Kindermann, Hedwig][Richter, Hans][Wagner, Richard]
16/8/1876Premiere of Richard Wagner's opera "Siegfried" in Bayreuth as third part of the "Ring". "Siegfried" was the third part of his "Ring des Nibelungen" and this part was performed for the first time. Hans Richter was the conductor. Among the singers were George Unger, Max Schlosser, Franz Betz, Karl Hill, Franz von Reichenberg, Marie Haupt, Luise Jaide and Amalie Materna. [Richter, Hans][Wagner, Richard]
17/8/1876Premiere of Wagner's "Götterdämmerung" in Bayreuth as the fourth part of his "Ring". Hans Richter was the conductor. The singers were George Unger, Amalie Materna, Eugen Gura, Mathilde Weckerlin, Gustav Siehr, Kal Hill, Luise Jade, Jahanna Jachmann-Wagner, Josephine Schefsky, Friederike Grün, Lilli Lehmann, Marie Lehmann and Minna Lammert. [Lehmann, Lilli][Lehmann, Marie][Richter, Hans][Wagner, Richard]
26/7/1882Premiere of Wagner's "Parsifal" in Bayreuth. It was Wagner's last work and it would be staged another sixteen times that year until the end of August. Hermann Levi was the conductor, but during the last performance Wagner conducted the last act himself. It was the only time he appeared as a conductor in Bayreuth. Hermann Winkelmann was Parsifal, Theodor Reichmann was Amfortas, Emil Scaria was Gurnemanz, August Kindermann was Titurel; Karl Hill was Klingsor, Amalie Materna was Kundry. Anton Fuchs and Eugen Stumpf were Gralritters. Hermine Galfy, Mathilde Keil, Max Mikorey and Adolf van Hübbenet were the Knappen. Sophie Dompierre perormed the alt solo. The Zaubermädchen were Pauline Horson, Johanna Meta, Carrie Pringle, Johanna André, Hermine Galfy and Luise Belse. [Wagner, Richard]


The grave of Amalia Friedrich-Materna at the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (20 sep 2004)


• Budig, Robert S. et al, Ehrengräber am Wiener Zentralfriedhof, Compress Verlag Wien, Wien
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Das Rheingold – Wikipedia
Die Königin von Saba - Wikipedia
Die Walküre - Wikipedia
Götterdämmerung - Wikipedia
Siegfried (opera) - Wikipedia

Fries, Jakob Friedrich

Published: 29 Apr 2016
Last update: 29 Dec 2021