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Tägil, Ingela
Publications (2 of 2) Show all publications
Ternhag, G., Wallrup, E., Hermansson, E., Tägil, I. & Hallgren, K. (2016). Writing Composer Biographies in the project Swedish Musical Heritage. Paper presented at 17th Nordic Musicological Congress. Dansk Musikforskning Online, 43-60
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Writing Composer Biographies in the project Swedish Musical Heritage
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2016 (English)In: Dansk Musikforskning Online, ISSN 1904-237X, E-ISSN 1904-237X, p. 43-60Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Swedish Musical Heritage is a six-year-long project whose purpose is to make music, that is rarely played, more accessible so that it might gain a new audience. The project is funded by the Swedish Royal Academy of Music. Biographical texts on more than 300 Swedish composers, mainly unknown even for specialists in Swedish music history, provide a background for the use of the musical works, whether for performance or for research. The writing of these biographical texts is the topic of this article – the subject of which more precisely contains discussions around this rather old-fashioned task. The authors of this article are involved in this work in various ways and write from their respective starting points. The conclusion we have reached collectively is that the writing of biographies is of great value; the image of Swedish music history is deep- ened, female composers have become more visible, the musical life outside of Stockholm is described, and the great variety of roles a composer could have becomes clear. 

National Category
Research subject
Humanities, Musicology
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-49857 (URN)
17th Nordic Musicological Congress

Danish Musicology Online Special Edition, 2016 : Proceedings of the 17th Nordic Musicological Congress

Available from: 2016-10-27 Created: 2016-02-21 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
Tägil, I. & Knust, M. (2015). The Careers of Jenny Lind and Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient: A Comparison (1ed.). In: Melanie von Goldbeck, Christine Hoppe (Ed.), Begegnung – Vermittlung – Innovation: Annäherungen an Musik- und Kompositionspraktiken im Europa des 19. Jahrhunderts (pp. 85-132). Göttingen: Universitätsverlag Göttingen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Careers of Jenny Lind and Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient: A Comparison
2015 (English)In: Begegnung – Vermittlung – Innovation: Annäherungen an Musik- und Kompositionspraktiken im Europa des 19. Jahrhunderts / [ed] Melanie von Goldbeck, Christine Hoppe, Göttingen: Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 2015, 1, p. 85-132Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göttingen: Universitätsverlag Göttingen, 2015 Edition: 1
Internationaler Kongress der Gesellschaft für Musikforschung, Freie Referate ; 15:1
Jenny Lind, Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient, 19th-century opera, singing, embodiment, gender, public image
National Category
Research subject
Humanities, Musicology
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-47669 (URN)978-3-86395-224-2 (ISBN)


Since the onset of capitalism in the seventeenth century which happened parallel to the dissemination of opera – the most prominent music genre of that time – certain opera singers have received special attention. In the eighteenth century, it was the castratos who were written about and even worshipped to a large extent by their (mostly aristocratic) audiences. In that same century, a cult of opera singers had begun, which still forms part of contemporary opera life although it has been on the wane since the second half of the twentieth century. In the early nineteenth century, the focus shifted from the castrato singers to the prima donnas. It was these singers who were now mostly dominating the public discourses about opera performances, largely due to their successful self-marketing efforts, thus earning themselves the highest salaries among all musicians of their time.

Our essay is on two of the most prominent prima donnas of the early nineteenth century, Jenny Lind (1820–1887) and Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient (1804– 1860). These singers are suitable for a study of the music market. Our aim is to demonstrate how broad and diversified the music market of their time had already become. We chose two opera sopranos who lived at the same time, sang at the same opera houses, met high esteem nationally and internationally, had outstanding international careers and even similar role repertoires. However, their way of singing and embodying their parts, their public image and the way in which they were celebrated show more differences than similarities. As a matter of fact, their careers and artistic abilities seem to have been in contrast to each other, if notcontrary. Moreover, working on the theatrical stage as a woman in the nineteenth century was regarded as ambiguous and problematic, to say the least. For this reason, questions about gender and performativity are easily raised, and facts about nineteenth-century opinions and discourses regarding gender and performativity become clearer in the context of women in opera, rather than in the context of women singing in concerts. Although both singers started second careers as concert singers after they made their farewell from the opera stage, we are not dealing with these activities here. Further, their second careers can hardly be compared: while Lind became, perhaps, even more famous during her long second career, Schröder-Devrient appeared to be only a shadow of her former self when shesang in occasional concerts.

We are going to compare the following aspects of these two opera singers and their exceptional careers:

1. their biographical background as far as relevant to our other aspects;2. detailed descriptions of their singing voices;3. their operaticrepertoires and favouriteroles;4. the dramaticembodiment of their roles;5. their publicimages and their professional networks.

The section on Jenny Lind is written by Ingela Tägil and related to her thesis Jenny Lind. The impact of her voice on media identity (2013). This part of theessay investigates which factors contributed to this image of her. Some anonymous reviewers are quoted. In these cases, the journal itself is used as the reference. The section on Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient is written by and part of the research conducted by Martin Knust on various famous Wagner singers.

Available from: 2015-11-27 Created: 2015-11-27 Last updated: 2019-07-30Bibliographically approved

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