It has been reported that the German soprano Gabriele Schnaut has died. She was 72.

A violinist before she became a singer, the Mannheim-born Schnaut studied at the Peter Cornelius Conservatory in Mainz, majoring in her instrument before turning to full time vocal study at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in 1971.

She started her debut as a mezzo-soprano in 1976 at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. In 1977 Schnaut made her debut at Bayreuth, singing Waltraute and the Second Norn in the Jahrhundertring staged by Patrice Chéreau. She also appeared in these roles in the film Der Ring des Nibelungen.

She became closely associated with the works of Wagner, performing at Bayreuth in 1980 as Wellgunde in Götterdämmerung, in 1985 as Venus in Tannhäuser, in 1986 as Sieglinde in Die Walküre, in 1987 as Ortrud in Lohengrin, and in 2000 as Brünnhilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Gabriele Schnaut as Klytämnestra. Photo © Wilfried Hösl

Schnaut developed into a powerful dramatic soprano. In 1985 she sang the title role of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, repeating the role in 1988 at the Hamburgische Staatsoper in a production by Ruth...