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Guide to the Kirsten Flagstad Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Kirsten Flagstad collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1923-1962
    Collection number: ARS-2004-01
    Creator: Flagstad, Kirsten
    Extent: 86 sound tape reels
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: Collection contains recordings of Kirsten Flagstad and Waldemar Alme in performances and interviews.
    Language: German.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research. Listening appointments may require 24 hours notice. Contact the archive Operations Manager.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.

    Preferred Citation

    Kirsten Flagstad collection, ARS-2004-01. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Kirsten Flagstad (1895-1962), an operatic soprano, spent the first 18 years of her career in Scandinavia, singing opera, operetta and musical comedy. After performing Isolde in 1932 at the National Theatre, Oslo, she was invited to Bayreuth, where her performances in small Wagnerian roles led to invitations to the Metropolitan Opera in New York, to the San Francisco Opera, and to Covent Garden. She became known for her Wagnerian roles, particularly Sieglinde, Isolde and Brunnhilde. In 1941, Flagstad returned to Norway to join her husband who was later arrested as a Nazi collaborator and died awaiting trial in 1946; she, herself, was acquitted of any wrongdoing. In 1948, Flagstad returned to Covent Garden, performing there, and in other European venues, until 1951. Retiring from the operatic stage in 1953 after a performance of Dido and Aeneas at the Little Mermaid Theatre in London, she continued to give recitals, make recordings, primarily off Wagner and Norwegian composers, and was, for a few years, the director of the Norwegian State Opera.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains recordings of Kirsten Flagstad from the early 1920s until her death in 1962. The recordings are from live radio broadcasts, commercial discs, live performances, recording sessions, and private recordings. It also includes interviews, recordings of Waldemar Alme, piano accompanist to Kirsten Flagstad, and a gift compilation given to Kirsten Flagstad on her deathbed. Conductors, interviewers and other performers on the recordings include Lauritz Melchior, Arnold Gábor, Ludwig Hoffmann, Gertrud Påalson-Wettergren, Emanuel List, Julius Huehn, René Maison, Kathryn Meisle, Set Svanholm, Edwin MacArthur, Alfred Wallenstein, Artur Bodanzky, Oivin Fjelstad, Sigvart Fotland, Maria Müller, Rudolf Bockelmann, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Karen-Marie Flagstad, Karl Böhm, John Gurney, Eleanor Lamont, Knud Hagermann-Lindencrøne, Sir Adrian Boult and Torstein Gunnarson.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Flagstad, Kirsten, 1895-1962.
    Flagstad, Kirsten, 1895-1962--Interviews.
    Alme, Waldemar.
    Songs (High voice).
    Piano music.
    Live sound recordings.