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Birgit Nilsson sings Wagner and Verdi this week on The Lyric Stage.

The Grove Dictionary describes Birgitt Nilsson's voice "… as even throughout its range, pure in sound and perfect in intonation with a free ringing top; its size was phenomenal. Her dramatic abilities were considerable."

Tonight we have two highlights from her career, the love duet and love death from a live performance at Bayreuth in 1966 of T&I which many critics consider a career highlight, and also a scene from Act Two of Aida.
Nilsson said that she was a self taught singer, that her teachers when she was starting out did more harm than good. She also said her recordings did not do justice to her voice. She retired in the 1980's back to the same small county in Sweden where she was born in 1918, and where worked on the family farm until she was 23. She married Bertil Niklasson, a vetenary surgeon in 1948 and he survived her at her death in 2005. They had no children.