Jenny Lind Biography

Jenny Lind was a Swedish opera singer often called the "Swedish Nightingale". Check out this biography to know about her birthday, childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about her.

Jenny Lind
Quick Facts

Birthday: October 6, 1820

Nationality: Swedish

Famous: Opera Singers Swedish Women

Died At Age: 67

Sun Sign: Libra

Also Known As: Johanna Maria 'Jenny' Lind

Born in: Stockholm

Famous as: Opera Singer

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Otto Goldschmidt

children: Ernest Svend David Goldschmidt, Jenny Maria Catherine Goldschmidt Maude, Walter Otto Goldschmidt

Died on: November 2, 1887

place of death: Malvern

City: Stockholm, Sweden

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Johanna Maria "Jenny" Lind was a Swedish opera singer who was often called the "Swedish Nightingale". Born in Klara, in central Stockholm, she was one of the most recognized singers of the 19th century who used to perform in Sweden and across Europe. She began singing on stage at the age of ten and landed her first breakthrough role as Agathe in Der Freischütz in 1838 at the Royal Swedish Opera. At the height of her fame, Lind undertook a long tour to the United States upon persuasion by showman P. T. Barnum. Moreover, her advance publicity made her a celebrity even before she arrived in the country. The great singer suffered a vocal damage at one point in her career, but her singing teacher Manuel García saved her voice. After two acclaimed seasons in London, Lind announced her retirement from the opera at the age of 29. During her music career, she had earned over $350,000 from her singing concerts. A big philanthropist, she decided to donate most of the proceeds to charities, primarily the endowment of free schools in Sweden. Her generosity and devotion to charitable causes remained a key feature of her career and significantly enhanced her global popularity even among the public who didn’t have musical interests.

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Jenny Lind
Childhood & Early Life
  • Jenny Lind was born as Johanna Maria "Jenny" Lind on 6 October 1820 in Klara, in central Stockholm as the illegitimate daughter of Anne-Marie Fellborg, a schoolteacher, and Niclas Jonas Lind, a bookkeeper.
  • Her mother had divorced her first husband for adultery and refused to remarry until his death due to religious reasons. She did, however, marry Lind’s father when Lind was 14.
  • When Lind was nine, her singing was overheard by a maid of Mademoiselle Lundberg, the chief dancer at the Royal Swedish Opera. The maid, who was astounded by Lind's voice, returned the following day with Lundberg who later helped Lind gain admission at the Royal Dramatic Theatre.
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Career
  • Jenny Lind started singing on the stage at the age of ten. When she was 12, she had a vocal crisis and had to stop singing for a brief period of time. She, however, recovered later on.
  • In 1838, she got her breakthrough role as Agathe in ‘Der Freischütz’ at the Royal Swedish Opera. At the age of 20, she served as a court singer to King of Sweden and Norway. During this time, she also became a part of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
  • From 1841 to 1843, Lind studied under the guidance of Manuel García who saved her singing career by helping her recover from the damage to her voice.
  • In December 1844, she sang the title role in the opera ‘Norma’ in Berlin. This led to more engagements with opera houses throughout Austria and Germany. The following year, she sang without fee for a charity event in aid of the Orchestra Widows' Fund.
  • On 4 May 1847, the singer gave her first performance in London when she appeared in an Italian edition of Meyerbeer's ‘Robert le Diable.’ The same year, she appeared at Her Majesty's Theatre in Verdi's opera I masnadieri.
  • In November 1847, Lind was devastated by the premature death of her beloved friend Mendelssohn. She later went on to sing the soprano part in ‘Elijah,’ which he had written for her, at London's Exeter Hall.
  • In early 1849, she decided to retire from opera. The Swedish Nightingale gave her last opera performance on 10 May 1849 in ‘Robert le diable.’ Soon after this, she was approached by the famous American showman P. T. Barnum who offered her proposal to tour throughout the United States.
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  • In early 1849, she decided to retire from opera. The Swedish Nightingale gave her last opera performance on 10 May 1849 in ‘Robert le diable.’ Soon after this, she was approached by the famous American showman P. T. Barnum who offered her proposal to tour throughout the United States.
  • In early 1851, Lind became uncomfortable with Barnum's relentless ways of marketing the tour. Although the duo parted amicably, she continued the tour for about a year under her own management.
  • She then returned to Europe and continued to perform in the concert halls. In 1856, she performed at a concert conducted by William Sterndale Bennett. In the year 1866, Lind gave a concert with Arthur Sullivan at the St James's Hall. Her performances decreased after this and the singer retired from singing in 1883.
  • From 1879 to 1887, she collaborated with Frederick Niecks on his biography of Frédéric Chopin. In 1882, Lind was appointed the professor of singing at the newly launched Royal College of Music.
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Major Works
  • The track ‘The Camp of Silesia’ from Meyerbeer's ‘Ein Feldlager in Schlesien’ became one of the numbers most associated with Jenny Lind. She was called on to sing the song whenever she performed in concerts.
  • The track ‘The Camp of Silesia’ from Meyerbeer's ‘Ein Feldlager in Schlesien’ became one of the numbers most associated with Jenny Lind. She was called on to sing the song whenever she performed in concerts.
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Critical Reputation
  • The biographer Francis Rogers believed that although Jenny Lind was much admired by Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer, Berlioz, the Schumanns, and many others, she was undoubtedly inferior to her predecessors like Pasta and Malibran and also to her contemporaries like Grisi and Sontag.
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  • The critic H. F. Chorley, who admired the singer, described her voice as comprising "two octaves in the compass – from D to D” that had a higher possible note available on rare occasions.
  • The American press believed Lind's presentation represented Germanic "cold, untouching tone and style", rather than the ardent expression essential for Italian opera.
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Personal Life
  • In 1843, Jenny Lind met Hans Christian Andersen and the latter fell in love with her. Although the two became friends, Lind did not reciprocate his feelings.
  • After this, the singer became friends with Mendelssohn who used to write passionate love letters to her. Before the duo could start a relationship, Mendelssohn died a premature death in November 1847.
  • On February 5, 1852, Lind married pianist and conductor Goldschmidt in Boston. She went on to take the name "Jenny Lind-Goldschmidt" both personally and professionally.
  • The couple initially lived in Dresden, Germany, and then moved to England where they lived for the rest of their lives. Together, they had three children: Otto, Jenny and Ernest.
  • Lind died on 2 November 1887 at Wynd's Point at the age of 67. She was buried at the Great Malvern Cemetery.
  • She has been commemorated in music and even on banknotes. The 1996 as well as the 2006 issues of Swedish 50-krona banknote had her portrait in the front. Many objects and places have been named after the great singer, including the Jenny Lind locomotive and Jenny Lind Island in Canada.
  • In Britain, Jenny Lind Children's Hospital of the Norfolk is named in Lind’s honor. In the USA, streets in New Bedford, Massachusetts; Taunton, Massachusetts; North Easton, Massachusetts; McKeesport, Pennsylvania; Stanhope, New Jersey and North Highlands, California have been named after her.
  • A bronze statue of a seated Lind sits at the Djurgården Island in Stockholm.
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Trivia
  • There are no available recordings of Jenny Lind's works though she is believed to have made a phonograph recording for Thomas Edison.
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How To Cite

Article Title
- Jenny Lind Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/jenny-lind-9625.php
Last Updated
- July 04, 2018
Jenny Lind

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