Arabella Cillagi (1861-1918)

Arabella Cillagi (1861-1918).

  • Profession: Soprano
  • Relation to Mahler: 
  • Correspondence with Mahler: 
  • Born: 17-11-1861 Sárvár, Hungary
  • Address: Neustrasse No. 35 (now Zichy Jeno Street), Budapest
  • Died: 27-04-1918 Budapest, Hungary
  • Buried: 00-00-0000 

1889 Opera Budapest 27-01-1889

Also: Arabella Szilagyi, Arabella Spiegel.

Hungarian soprano in Budapest.

Mentioned in diary Natalie Bauer-Lechner (1858-1921).

Born into a Jewish family. Her father was Albert Spiegel, her mother Amália Heimer (1840-1916).

In 1880-1881 she performed at the National Theater, then studied at the Csillag Roza in Vienna. In 1886 she became a member of the Opera House. Her appearance in the female lead of the Säckingen Trumpet (Nessler) was one of the most dramatic failures in the history of the theater. Mahler visited her at her home for her audition: “Ich suche eine Sieglinde – aber ich habe eine Brunhilde gefunden!”

Under Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) she grew into a truly true primadonna. According to contemporary critics, she successfully sang Brünnhilde at the 1889 premiere of “The Walkur” in Hungary, conducted by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)1889 Opera Budapest 27-01-1889.

She was the first Santuzza (Mascagni: Honor of the Peasant) at the premiere of the Opera House, which took place three weeks after the Roman premiere in December 1890.

After Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) left, she disappeared from the theater. Nikisch Arthur re-contracted it in 1894, for in the 1890s she was the only possible figure in dramatic roles. After 1898 she appeared as a concert singer. From 1908 she taught singing at the Fodor Music School. 

Arabella’s only daughter is dr. Ágota Szilágyi, linguist and history scholar.

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