|Judith Blegen (April 27, 1943,
Lexington, Kentucky) is an American soprano, particularly associated
with light lyric roles of the French, Italian and German repertories.
Blegen was raised and attended high school in Missoula, Montana, during which time she began voice lessons with John L. Lester, head of the voice department at the University of Montana. She studied first the violin with Toshiya Eto, and later voice at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, with Eufemia Giannini-Gregory, and later in Rome, with Luigi Ricci. She made her operatic debut in Nuremberg, Germany, as Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann, in 1965, where she subsequently sang Lucia, Susanna, and Zerbinetta. That same year, she appeared in Spoleto, Italy, as Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande.
She made her debut at the Vienna State Opera, as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, in 1968, and the following year appeared at the Santa Fe Opera, as Emily in the premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti's Help, Help, the Globolinks!, a role requiring her both to sing and play the violin. Her New York Metropolitan Opera debut took place on January 19, 1970, as Papagena in The Magic Flute. She sang there over 200 performances of 19 roles, including Marzelline, Zerlina, Nanetta, Sophie, Adina, Gilda, Oscar, Juliette, Blondchen, Gretel, and Adele. She made her debuts at the London Opera House in London, in 1975, and at the Palais Garnier in Paris, in 1977.
She appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on December, 20, 1979, [YouTube image shown below] where she performed the Christmas carol, O Holy Night.
A singer with a radiant voice, polished musicianship, and charming stage presence, she retired in 1991. She is married to former Metropolitan Opera concertmaster Raymond Gniewek.
She is a 1983 recipient of the Montana Governor's Arts Award.
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Judith Blegen at Lyric Opera of Chicago
1973 - Rosenkavalier (Sophie) with Ludwig/Dernesch, Berthold, Sotin, Gutstein, Merighi, Andreolli, Zilio, Gordon, Voketaitis; Leitner
1978 - Don Pasquale (Norina) with Evans, Kraus, Stilwell; Pritchard
1979 - Rigoletto (Gilda) with Manuguerra/Elvira/Salvadori, Pavarotti, Gill, Kuhlmann; Chailly
1986-87 [Opening Night] - Magic Flute (Pamina) with Araiza, Nolen, Salminen, Serra, Stewart; Slatkin, Everding
-- Names which are links refer to my interviews elsewhere on this website. BD
Some Recordings of Mozart featuring Judith Blegen
© 1986 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded in Chicago on October 1, 1986.
Portions were broadcast on WNIB in 1991, and again in 1996 and
This transcription was made in 2016, and posted on this
at that time.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975
its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His
interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since
and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well
on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.