Quoteikon Logo 200px

Birgit Nilsson Quotes


Birgit Nilsson
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Birgit Nilsson
  • Born: 17th May 1918, Västra Karup, Skåne, Sweden
  • Died: 25th December 2005, Bjärlöv, Skåne, Sweden
  • Occupation: Soprano operatic singer
  • Famous for: Her mastery of Wagner and wearing Valkyrie's helmet and breastplate
  • Shock event: Her ability to negotiate her own contracts better than her all her contemporaries and her robust tongue lashing of the worlds most famous conductors
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"I sang before I could walk; I sang even in my dreams"

Birgit Nilsson

"I found a way to get the sound up in my head with the support, without applying pressure to my vocal cords"

Birgit Nilsson

"I have to sing, to act, to follow the conductor and to think of my interpretation"

Birgit Nilsson

"The best teacher is the stage; You walk out onto it, and you have to learn to project"

Birgit Nilsson

"Isolde made me famous. Turandot made me rich"

Birgit Nilsson

"I do nothing special; I don't smoke, I drink a little wine and beer, I was born with the right set of parents"

Birgit Nilsson

"I've always tried to remember what my mother used to tell me; Stay close to the earth. Then when you fall down, it won't hurt so much"

Birgit Nilsson

"I have to sing, to act, to follow the conductor and to think of my interpretation"

Birgit Nilsson

"They're only imitation ones that I bought out of your low fees in Vienna"

Birgit Nilsson

"I want to bake the cake before I decorate it"

Birgit Nilsson

"I just close my eyes and think of Placido Domingo"

Birgit Nilsson

"I like to enjoy life"

Birgit Nilsson

Great quotes are not where you find great wisdom. It's where you share this knowledge that counts

Sharing Is Caring

Birgit Nilsson Biography

Birgit Nilsson was the queen of the Soprano range who could chow a whole Wagner opera in one sitting and stream it out at full force seemingly imperious to the human laws of the respiratory system. She is often considered to be the finest Wagnerian soprano of the twentieth century where few could match her stamina for holding notes so breathlessly.

Her career initially started slowly as her repertoire went from Mozart to Beethoven, Puccini to Strauss and onto the more vocally demanding Verdi and Wagner and as she swallowed them all whole her full potential was finally coming to fruition.



She spent much of her career in the shadow of Astrid Varnay her fellow Swedish soprano she would eventually eclipse, however there was no bitter professional rivalry as Nilsson looked up to Varnay and held her in awe as an exemplary role model.

Her dramatic awareness was as natural as her voice and she could improvise on stage with the best of them. At her peak the sheer physicality of her voice was unmatched, but she was so much more that the greatest soprano of her generation as she was an accomplished actress who could deliver who was a natural entertainer.

The dramatic soprano of opera legend never missed an opportunity for a quick quip so here is my compilation of 12 of the best Birgit Nilsson quotes

Quotes About Birgit Nilsson

Ioan Holender a director of the Vienna State Opera enthused: "If there ever was someone that one can call a real star today and a world-famous opera singer during her time then that was Frau Nilsson"

The conductor James Levine described her thus: "Birgit was unique. Her voice, the dedication of her artistry, her wonderfully wicked sense of humor and her loyal friendship were in a class by themselves"

Astrid Varney showed respect as she spoke of her contemporary: "Even with our helmets on, we never locked horns"


Birgit Nilsson image quote