Sunday, April 17, 2011

Marta Eggerth: "Never retire."

I would not have known about Marta Eggerth's birthday had I not listened to a tribute to her on our local public radio station's Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. The host played a number of Merry Widow songs sung by her (in at least 4 languages!). He quoted Marta Eggerth's advice for a long life: "Never retire." She and her son have their own YouTube channel.

Marta Eggerth - 99 years old today - is one of the last of the great European operetta stars. Max Reinhardt directed her in Die Fledermaus.
In 1927. Franz Lehar wrote shows for her.

In 2004 when Queen Juliana died, a Dutch television history program called Andere Tijden (in English, Other Times) featured a segment about Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard's 1937 wedding and marriage. Part of it was spent at the Hotel Patria in the Polish ski resort of Krynica (on the Czech border). The hotel was owned by Jan Kiepura, the singer, who had recently married Marta Eggerth. There is a fascinating clip featuring Marta Eggerth - starting at 11:58 to about 25:00 - reminiscing about meeting and spending time with the royal couple at the hotel. She also sings in the clip - definitely she has not lost her theatrical and operatic allure. The program is in Dutch and Polish but Ms Eggerth speaks in English. I cannot embed it, so click here for the clip.

Last year when she was 98, one of her films was shown at MoMA in NYC.

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