World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Gundula Janowitz

Gundula Janowitz (born August 2, 1937)[1] is an Austrian lyric soprano singer of operas, oratorios and concerts. She is one of the most renowned opera singers of the 20th century and was pre-eminent in the 1960s and 1970s.


  • Career 1
  • Voice and repertory 2
  • Selected discography 3
  • Filmography 4
  • Decorations and awards 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Janowitz was born in Berlin, Germany, but grew up in Carlos Kleiber, etc.)

One of the emphases of Janowitz's work was the development of song recitals, which she gave several times at the Salzburg Festivals. Following her vocal career, she was active as a vocal teacher. In 1990, she temporarily took over the position of Opera Director in Graz.[3]

In 1978, Gundula Janowitz was awarded the Joseph Marx Music Prize of the state of Styria, Austria, named for the composer, Joseph Marx.[4] She was granted the title "Kammersängerin" in 1969 in Vienna and again in 1974 in Berlin.[5]

Janowitz appeared on many of the great stages of the world, including Ezio Frigerio as set designer).

Her recording of Schubert's lieder for female voice has been twice awarded Germany's Deutscher Schallplattenpreis.[6]

Her opera farewell was on May 18, 1990, at the Vienna State Opera in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos (with Heinrich Hollreiser as conductor, and Filippo Sanjust as director and designer). Janowitz kept singing Lied recitals until 1997, when she completely retired from the stage. She is an honorary member of the Vienna State Opera and of the Academy of Music in Graz. She was made an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2000.

Voice and repertory

Janowitz's voice is recognizable by its pure,[7] beautiful, "creamy" tone.[8] Like her predecessor Maria Stader, who had similar timbre to hers, and like her contemporary, Elizabeth Harwood, Janowitz mastered first and foremost the high and middle register and lyrical-emotional expression. Despite her comparatively weak sound projection, she occasionally performed in dramatic roles (Sieglinde, Leonore, Elsa) or comic roles (Marzelline, Rosalinde), but she was most highly regarded as Fiordiligi, Countess Rosina Almaviva, Pamina, Agathe, Arabella, Ariadne, the Angel Gabriel (The Creation), Countess Madeleine, and in sacred music. She was also a leading interpreter of Richard Strauss "Four Last Songs".[1] With a few exceptions, she avoided foreign-language roles (although recordings exist of her singing Don Carlos and Verdi's Requiem and all three Mozart/DaPonte operas in Italian). An excerpt of her portrayal of the Figaro Countess in a duet with Swiss soprano Edith Mathis features prominently in The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

Selected discography



  • Gundula Janowitz: In Concert (recorded live) (1970, conductor Berislav Klobučar, Video Artists International Inc.)
  • Beethoven Symphony No.9 in D minor, Op.125 "Choral" (1968, conductor Herbert von Karajan, director Herbert von Karajan, Unitel Classica)
  • Bach Mass in B minor BWV 232 (1969, conductor Karl Richter; director Arne Arbom, Unitel Classica)
  • Mozart Requiem K.626 (1971, conductor Karl Böhm; director Hugo Käch, Unitel Classica)
  • Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem, op.45 (1978, conductor Herbert von Karajan, director Herbert von Karajan, Unitel Classica)


Decorations and awards


  1. ^ a b "Janowitz, Gundula" by Alan Blyth, Grove Music Online (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Gundula Janowitz 70" by Manuel Brug, Die Welt (August 2, 2007) (German)
  3. ^ a b Gundula Janowitz at
  4. ^ Joseph Marx: The Life and Works of the Composer Joseph Marx
  5. ^ "Gundula Janowitz". Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "BBC Cardiff Singer of the World". 
  7. ^ "Gundula Janowitz (Gala 337)". Norbeck, Peters & Ford. Retrieved September 2, 2015. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1250. Retrieved January 21, 2013. 

External links

  • Complete discography
  • Gundula Janowitz at the Internet Movie Database
  • Feeney, Anne. Gundula Janowitz at AllMusic. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  • Cast list of Janowitz' final opera performance, Ariadne auf Naxos, Vienna State Opera, May 18, 1990
  • On video (YouTube) singing Carl Maria von Weber
  • Singing Bach (audio only) (YouTube)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.