Obituary: Swedish Mezzo-Soprano Kerstin Meyer Dies, Aged 92

By Logan Martell

On April 15, 2020, Swedish mezzo-soprano Kerstin Meyer passed away, at the age of 92. Meyer is remembered as a leading mezzo during the 50s and 60s, singing with prominent companies throughout Europe.

After graduating from Stockholm’s Royal College of Music in 1948, Meyer studied at the Opera School, where she won the Christine Nilsson Scholarship to fund studies in Austria and Italy.

In 1952, Meyer made her debut as Azucena in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” with the Royal Swedish Opera. While she performed a number of roles with the company, Meyer also worked with the Hamburg State Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera. As a singer, she made a number of tours through Australia, America, and Asia.

Meyer sang a varied repertoire that included the works of Verdi, Wagner, Bizet, Berlioz, Stravinsky, Saint-Saëns, and Gluck. She also created numerous roles including Mrs. Claiborne in Gunther Schuller’s “Die Heimsuchung,” Alice Arden in Alexander Goehr’s “Arden Must Die,” and Gertrude in Humphrey Searle’s “Hamlet.”

From 1984 to 1994, Meyer also served as rector of Operahogskolan i Stockholm.

Her onstage career was brought to an end with her final role being Madame Armfeldt in the 2013 production of Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” with the Malmö Opera.

Here she is in the Habanera from “Carmen.”