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Brema, Marie (real name, Minny Fehrmann)

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Brema, Marie (real name, Minny Fehrmann), English mezzo-soprano; b. Liverpool (of a German father and an American mother), Feb. 28, 1856; d. Manchester, March 22, 1925. She was a pupil of Henschel (1890). Under the name Bremer (in honor of her father’s native city of Bremen), she made her concert debut in London singing Schubert’s Ganymed on Feb. 21, 1891. Her operatic debut followed on Oct. 19, 1891, when she sang Lola in the first English performance of Cavalleria rusticana at London’s Shaftesbury Theatre. She was the first English-born singer to appear at the Bayreuth Festival when she sang Ortrud in 1894, and returned there to sing Fricka in the Ring cycle in 1896 and Kundry in 1897. During the 1894–95 season, she toured in the U.S. with the Damrosch Opera Co. On Nov. 27, 1895, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Brangàne, remaining on its roster until 1896 and appearing there again from 1898 to 1900. In 1900 she was soloist in the premiere of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius . She created the role of Beatrice in Stanford’s Much Ado About Nothing at London’s Covent Garden in 1901, and in 1902 she sang Brünnhilde in the first French mounting of Gôtterdammerung in Paris. She oversaw opera productions in English at London’s Savoy Theatre in 1910, where she also sang Orfeo. From 1913 until her death she was prof, of voice and director of the opera class at the Royal Manchester Coll. of Music.

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