Christa Ludwig (born 16 March 1928) is a retired German mezzo-soprano, distinguished for her performances of opera, Lieder, oratorio and other major religious works like masses and passions, and solos contained in symphonic literature. Ludwig's first voice teacher was her mother.
Ludwig made her debut in 1946 at the age of 18 as Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus at Frankfurt, where she sang until 1952. She was a member of the Darmstadt Opera from 1952 to 1954, going on to sing in the 1954–1955 season at the Staatsoper Hannover. She joined the Vienna State Opera in 1955, where she became one of its principal artists and was appointed Kammersängerin in 1962. Ludwig’s international career took her to the Salzburger Festspiele 1955, the New York Metropolitan Opera and the Bayreuther Festspiele in 1969.
As Ludwig's voice matured, she expanded her repertoire from lyric and spinto mezzo-roles to dramatic roles. She performed her final role as Klytemnestra (Elektra) in Vienna in 1994.
“Bei Christa Ludwig ist jeder Ton wahr und schön. Ihre beseelte Stimme leuchtete über Jahrzehnte wie eine Sonne und wird in den Herzen der Menschen nie untergehen. Sie hat unendliche Liebe und Schönheit in unsere dunkle Welt gestrahlt."
(Peter Keller, Singen als schöpferischer Akt).
“Christa Ludwig’s voice is beautiful and full of truth, every note, every tone speaks to your heart. Her voice will be remembered and stay with us for hundreds of years to come. She brought light and joy into our dark world.”