As daughter of the singer Albert Wagner (and niece of Richard Wagner) Johanna Wagner-Jachmann took to the stage at an early age. She received singing lessons from both her father and her mother (also a singer). Her first major engagement was with the Dresden Hoftheater in 1844, to which she had been recommended by her uncle and others. There she played Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, and Wagner is rumored to have written several other parts with his niece’s vocal virtuosity in mind. In 1846 the artistic directorship enabled her to go to Paris on a study trip – Wagner-Jachmann subsequently was to become one of the greatest singers of the Dresden opera.
In 1849 she left for Hamburg, moving to the Berlin Court Opera in 1850. There, she attained the position of ‘chamber singer’ within the space of only three years. Wagner-Jachmann was invited in 1856 to London, where she successfully performed the lead role in Bellini’s opera Romeo. After losing her voice in 1861, she began to favour tragic roles, amongst others taking on the part of Lady Macbeth. In 1882 she became professor for vocal development at the Königliche Musikschule in Munich.
- Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra)
- Lady Macbeth (Macbeth)
- Margarete (Richard III)
- Hermione (A Winter's Tale)
- ‘Jachmann, Hans/ Kapp, Julius (eds.): Richard Wagner und seine erste ‘Elisabeth’ Johanna Jachmann-Wagner. Berlin, 1927.
- Wahrig, Wolfgang: ‘Wagners erste ‘Tannhäuser’-Elisabeth. Vor 175 Jahren wurde Johanna Wagner geboren’, Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten (DNN), 13. Oktober 2001.
Album pages with this person
Citation and Licence
Wagner-Jachmann, Johanna, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: http://www.shakespearealbum.de/uri/gnd/118805916. (Accessed on 21.07.2018)
This text is published under the following licence: CC BY-ND 3.0 DE. Digitzed media reproduced with the permission of the library of Birmingham.