...like today's birthday girl (born 110 years ago) Kirsten Flagstad - possibly the most remarkable Wagnerian soprano the world has ever known.
And there's nothing quite as camp as a bit of Wagner in full battledress!
- Long before the high dramatic roles that made her world famous came her way, she specialised in operetta, Mozart (translated into Norwegian) and lieder; and later was chosen (by the composer) to perform the première of Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs.
- Her big break came at her début for the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1935 - the concert was broadcast on syndicated radio, and so overwhelmed was the show's host and former Met star Geraldine Farrar that she apparently discarded her prepared notes and breathlessly announced that a new star had just been born.
- Unfortunately Kirsten's decision to return to Norway during the Nazi occupation, and her husband's post-war arrest as a collaborator, tainted her reputation in the USA for a significant period; but by the 1950s (as she neared her official retirement from the major stage) her popularity appeared undimmed - as she said her major farewells at the Met, the London Festival of Britain and in her native Oslo.
- She has a museum dedicated to her memory in Hamar, Norway.