Inge Borkh

Nom de naissance

Ingeborg Simon


26 Mai 1921, Germany


Inge Borkh, who died aged 97 on 26th August 2018, was a German operatic soprano whose background as an actress made her a dynamic performer in operas such as Beethoven's 'Fidelio', Richard Strauss's 'Salome' and 'Elektra' and Puccini's 'Turandot'. Born Ingeborg Simon in Germany, she moved with her family to Switzerland before World War II and trained in acting and dance in Vienna before studying voice in Milan, Italy. She made her operatic debut in Lucerne, Switzerland and garnered international attention when she performed in Menotti's 'The Consul' in Basel. She joined Deutsch Oper Berlin and the Bavarian State Opera in 1952 and sang at the Bayreuth Festival and the Edinburgh Festival. Her American debut came in 1953, performing the title role of Richard Strauss's 'Elektra' with the San Francisco Opera and she debuted in 'Salome' with the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1958 and the Royal Opera House, London the following year.

She continued to perform around the world until she retired from opera in 1973 although she performed in cabaret for several years in a show she called 'Inge Borkh Sings Her Memoirs'. She published an autobiography titled 'I Can't Shake the Theatre' in 1996. Several of her recordings were re-released including 'Strauss: Salome' (1993), 'Puccini: Turandot' (1993), 'Strauss: Elektra' (1997), 'Brahms: Die Schöne Magelone' (2004) and Inge Borkh, Ljuba Welitsch: The Decca Recitals' (2015). 'Inge Borkh Rarities' came out in 2003 and 'Inge Borkh Arias' in 2007. In its obituary, the New York Times said she was "a soprano who inhabited with thrilling intensity some of the most hair-raising and daunting roles in the operatic repertoire".

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved