High Notes On This Day

Helen Traubel, More Than A Wagnernian Soprano

Throughout her career, Helen Traubel was widely considered one of the great Wagnerian sopranos. Traubel, born on June 16, 1899, was particularly well-known for her Brünhilde in the Ring Cycle and Isolde in “Tristan und Isolde.”

Do you know what else she was known for? Things that had little to do with opera. Here are some of Traubel’s extra-operatic talents.

Broadway

Once her opera career was on the wane and her Met Opera contract was not renewed, the soprano looked elsewhere to prolong her performance career. She turned to TV and radio but also made quite a few headlines on Broadway with Pipe Dream, the Rodgers and Hammerstein piece that turned into a massive failure.

Cinema

Traubel’s cinematic appearances include “Deep in My Heart,” “Gunn,” The Ladies Man and she also appeared opposite Groucho Marx in a Bell Telephone presentation of “The Mikado.”

Novelist

The soprano wrote two murder mysteries. The first of these was “The Ptomaine Canary, which was serialized in 1950. Then she went on to write “The Metropolitan Opera Murders” in 1951, which essentially features Traubel as the protagonist, who seeks a way to solve some major mystery.

Baseball Owner

Traubel grew up a huge baseball fan and that continued throughout her life. At one point, she became the part owner of her hometown baseball team, the St. Louis Browns.

Hollywood Fame

The soprano eventually got her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 1994.

 

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