Louise von Ehrenstein (1867-1944)
- Profession: Soprano
- Relation to Mahler: Worked with Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) in the Vienna State Opera
- Correspondence with Mahler:
- Born: 17-03-1867 Vienna
- Died: 13-02-1944 Vienna
- Buried: 00-00-0000 Cemetery unknown, Vienna
Married Louise Königstein
Louise von Ehrenstein came in 1867 as a daughter of k. k. Generalintendants of the Austrian Gendarmerie Friedrich von Ehrenstein and his wife Elisabeth, b. Schmid, in Vienna to the world. She was the youngest of three musically talented daughters. Her sister Gisela von Ehrenstein (1859-1932) was a well-known concert pianist.
Louise's talent showed up early. Already at the age of nine, she sang on companies coloratura arias such as the raisin, Luise and Amina. At the age of 13, she performed a rondo by Mozart at a public concert. In addition, she occasionally appeared as a substitute for the female lead role in the opera The fourteen helpers of Richard von Perger. Despite her success with the audience, her parents had reservations about a stage career of her daughter. A friend of the family then asked the opera singer Pauline Lucca to talk the girl out of his career aspiration, for which she also agreed. After Louise had sung her an aria of Mozart and some songs, but Lucca recognized her talent and encouraged them instead in their future plans.
After that, Louise von Ehrenstein completed a three-year vocal studies with Selma Nicklass-Kempner. She also took lessons from the dancer Bertha Linda (1850-1928, married Makart) in the process, dance and facial expressions. She has performed as Leonore in Olomouc and as Margarethe in Brünn. In May 1888 she came after request of Bolko von Hochberg as a replacement for the singer Marie Renard at the Berlin Court Theater. Here she made her debut with the plays Carmen, Mignon and Margarethe, which she had previously practiced with Lucca. However, Ehrenstein resigned after just one year because she was assigned roles that did not suit her needs. So she studied with Johanna Jachmann-Wagner the Wagner roles Elisabeth, Elsa and Senta, but had to sing instead the Marie, Zerline and Susanne.
Then in 1889 Ehrenstein went to the Vienna Court Opera. There she made her debut as Elisabeth on 5 August, followed by appearances as Margarethe and Elsa. After this guest performance, she became a permanent member of the Vienna Court Opera on 1 September and worked there for over 10 years as a successful singer with a large repertoire. One of her greatest achievements she gained in 1889 with the title role in the legend of St. Elizabeth of Franz Liszt. She was also famous for her interpretation of Wagner roles. Ehrenstein rejected various contract offers, eg. From South America, New York and Madrid and stayed in Vienna. She has, however, numerous guest appearances, including at the Teatro Regio di Torino (1895), at La Scala Milan (1896), the Court Opera Munich (1897), in Budapest, Prague and Trieste.
On 11 November 1891 Ehrenstein married the Viennese music critic and writer Joseph Königstein (1844-1902). On November 23, 1899, the Emperor Louise von Ehrenstein appointed on the occasion of her retirement from the Association of Court Opera Theater to Kammersängerin.
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