AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.After her retirement she admitted having applied to join the Nazi Party in 1939, but she said it was “akin to joining a union” so that she could further her singing career. She was an aunt of U.S. Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who led American forces in the first Gulf War against Iraqi forces occupying Kuwait in 1991. Performing with an array of famous conductors, including Wilhelm Furtwaengler, Otto Klemperer, Vittorio de Sabata and Herbert von Karajan, she was what Italian opera aficionados would call a “diva assoluta” – an absolute star. Schwarzkopf was born Dec. 9, 1915, in Jarotschin in what was then eastern Germany, but which became the Polish town of Jarocin in the redrawing of national boundaries after World War I ended three years later. Schwarzkopf first was paid to sing as a member of the chorus in a 1937 recording of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” under the baton of Sir Thomas Beecham. VIENNA, Austria – Famed soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, a 20th century legend who won global acclaim for her renditions of Mozart and Strauss, died Thursday at her home in western Austria, state television reported. She was 90. Schwarzkopf, ranked alongside Maria Callas as a giant of the opera and concert stage, died about 1:15 a.m. in the town of Schruns in Austria’s westernmost province of Vorarlberg, where she most recently lived, state broadcaster ORF said, citing a local funeral home director. No cause of death was given. Schwarzkopf, who retired in 1975 after many years living outside Zurich, Switzerland, captivated audiences and critics alike during a career that spanned four decades. Her leading roles, ranging from Elvira in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” to the Marschallin in Richard Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier,” were immortalized on records and CDs. So were her recitals of lieder – German songs of a lyrical, often popular character. One year later, she made her operatic debut at the Berlin Municipal Opera as one of the flower maidens in Richard Wagner’s “Parsifal.” Given short notice, she learned the part overnight. Two years later she already was singing prominent parts, including as Zerbinetta in Strauss’ “Ariadne on Naxos.” At Igor Stravinsky’s request, she took a leading role in the 1951 world premiere of his “The Rake’s Progress” in Venice. The aging Arturo Toscanini, who heard her singing the Missa Solemnis at La Scala, greeted her with: “I never had the soprano so good.” It was through her that the late renowned pianist Artur Rubinstein learned to love lieder, as he wrote in his memoirs.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!