Obituary: Soprano Wilma Schmidt-Liebethal Dies at 95

By Francisco Salazar

On June 18, 2022, distinguished soprano Wilma Schmidt-Liebethal died at the age of 95.

Born June 27, 1926, Schmidt was trained by Laurenz Hofer as a spinto soprano and went on to make her debut at the Staatsoper Hannover in 1949. That year the main opera house was destroyed by bombing and performances took place in Herrenhausen.

She took part in raising money alongside colleagues for the rebuilding of the house. With the company, she would perform alongside Marie-Louise Gilles, Gerhard Faulstich, and Siegfried Haertel.

She performed a diverse repertoire that included German, Italian, and Slavic operas and such composers as Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Beethoven, Verdi, Weber, Puccini, and J. Strauss.

The soprano would also perform internationally at the Bayreuth Festival in such roles as Freia in “Das Rheingold,” Ortlinde in “Die Walküre” and Gutrune in “Götterdämmerung.” She also performed at the Staatsoper Nürnberg, the Hungarian State Opera, and Staatsoper Berlin.

Schmidt was honored with the title Kammersängerin and retired from the stage in 1999, on the occasion of her 50th anniversary at the Staatsoper Hannover.

Schmidt-Liebethal was married but appeared under her maiden name until her official retirement. She is survived by her three children.