Hempel, Frieda

Alternative names
Birth 1885-06-26
Death 1955-10-07

Biographical notes:

German soprano.

From the description of Typewritten letters signed (3), autograph letters signed (2), and 2 photographs (one signed, one inscribed), dated : New York, 1950-51, to Harry Harkness Flagler (one is to Edward Roeder, Flagler's secretary), 1950 Mar. 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270665577

From the description of Autograph letter signed, dated : Sils-Maria (Engadine, Switzerland) July 23 [n.y.], to Breitkopf & Härtel in Berlin. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270665575

Opera singer.

From the description of Lady Harriet in "Martha" : photograph, n.d. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122332834

Frieda Hempel was a German soprano with the Metropolitan Opera. From 1918-1926, she was married to William B. Kahn, who continued as her business manager after their divorce.

From the description of Frieda Hempel-William Kahn papers, 1863-1961. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122486370

From the guide to the Frieda Hempel-William Kahn papers, 1863-1961, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Frieda Hempel was a German soprano.

Since Hempel's life is the subject of a full-length annotated autobiography ( My golden age of singing, annotated by William R. Moran, with a prologue and epilogue by Elizabeth Johnston, 1998) and numerous articles in reference works, only a brief summary of her career is provided here.

Frieda Hempel was born in Leipzig, June 26, 1885. She began her studies on piano in 1900 when she ntered the Leipzig Conservatory, but switched to voice. From 1902-5 she studied singing with Frau Nicklass-Kempner. She made her professional debut in Breslau, and her Berlin Opera debut in 1905. From 1905-7 she was at the Court Opera in Schwerin, and from 1907-12 she was a member fo the Royal Opera in Berlin. From 1912-19 she was on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, where she made her debut as the Queen in Les Huguenots on December 27, 1912. In 1920, on the centenary of Jenny Lind's birth, Hempel began a series of recitals in which she impersonated Jenny Lind. These concerts, in which she wore clothing from the time of Jenny Lind, were so successful that she continued to give them as well as other recitals until her retirement in 1951.

Frieda Hempel married William B. Kahn in 1918. Although they divorced in 1926, he continued to be her business manager and friend.

Frieda Hempel died in Berlin on October 7, 1955.

From the guide to the The Frieda Hempel collection of manuscripts, cadenzas, and annotated publications, ca. 1910-ca. 1940, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Peace
  • World politics--1900-1918


  • Sopranos (Singers)


not available for this record