Else Mayer-Lissmann

Opera coach and lecturer; born 17 April 1914 in Frankfurt, died 6 Febuary 1990 in London.


Else Mayer-Lissmann was born into a musical family in Frankfurt. She studied at the Hoch’sches Konservatorium in Frankfurt. Her mother, a personal friend of Richard Strauss, introduced his new operas at the Salzburg Festival, playing the score on the piano. Mother and daughter were able to emigrate to the UK with the help of Ida and Louise Cook in 1938.

In the 1950s Else gave introductions to opera performances at Glyndebourne and the Edinburgh Festival. From 1963 she taught at the Royal College of Music. She founded the successful Mayer-Lissmann Opera Workshop, the first opera workshop of its kind, which annually showcased young talent at venues, such as the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank. In 1984 she was awarded an MBE for her services to opera.

Source: Raab Hansen p. 443

Links and Sources

The refugee who taught Prince Charles to love opera - The Telegraph Article

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