Perras, Margherita

Greek soprano, 1908 - 1984


BORN: Margherita Perras, 15 January 1908, Saloniki.

DIED: 2 February 1984, Zurich.

FAMILY: Married to a Swiss psychiatrist.

STUDIED: Her voice was discovered by her parents at a very early age and she would sing in churches with solos, at weddings and funerals. She studied with the well-known voice teacher Oscar Daniel at the Musikhochschule Berlin.

DEBUT: Discovered by Bruno Walter at a Highschool performance where she sang Norina in Don Pasquale (1927); Early professional debut as Barbarina under Bruno Walter (who became her mentor) at the Berlin State Opera (1927); Debut as Violetta at the Wiener Staatsoper (1935).

ROLES: Barbarina, Susanna and Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart); Zerlina Don Giovanni (Mozart); Hannele Hanneles Himmelfahrt (Graener); Amor Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck); Königin der Nacht Die Zauberflöte (Mozart); Philine Mignon (Thomas); Rosina Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini); Konstanze Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart); Gilda Rigoletto (Verdi);  Oscar Un Ballo in maschera (Verdi); Rosalina Il Re (Giordano); Lakmé Lakmé (Délibes); Nedda I Pagliacci (Leoncavallo); Mimì La Bohème (Puccini); Liù Turandot (Puccini); Micaela Carmen (Bizet); Sophie Der Rosenkavalier (Strauss); Isabella of Spain/First performance Christophe Colomb (Milhaud); Violetta La Traviata (Verdi); Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss).

COMPANIES & VENUES: Berliner Städtische Oper (1927), later Berliner Staatsoper ‘Unter den Linden’ (1928-1935); Tours to Spain and South America (incl. Teatro Colón Buenos Aires and Opera of Rio de Janeiro, 1928-29); Stadttheater Zurich (1934-35); Salzburg Festival (1935); Wiener Staatsoper (1935-1940/1946-1947);  Covent Garden (1936); Grand Opéra Paris (1936); Glyndebourne Festival (1937).

ALSO NOTEWORTHY: She retired from the opera stage in 1939 and moved to Zurich where she concentrated her career on concert appearances and song recitals. Margeritha Perras was a highly regarded interpreter of the songs by Othmar Schoeck.


ASSOLUTA as Konstanze


One of her most successful roles - Cio-Cio-San


RECORDINGS (selection):

Recital (Arias by Handel, Mozart, Thomas, Verdi, Puccini, Bizet. Libera me from Verdi’s Requiem)


Margarete Klose: Recital (Duets)


Walther Ludwig: Recital (Duets)


Helge Rosvaenge: Recital (Duets)


Gerhard Hüsch: Recital (Duets)


Von der Königlichen Hofoper zur Staatsoper ‘Unter den Linden’


Unvergessene Stimmen der Wiener Staatsoper


Les Introuvables du Chant Mozartien


Great Mozart Singers Vol 1 (Opera Arias 1922-1942)


The EMI Record Of Singing Vol 3 (1926-1939)



As Rosalina


As Cherubino


It is her Konstanze in Salzburg in 1935 which set apart a Mozartien with a richer, more melancholy voice texture than the at times ‘lighter’ sopranos turned out in great number by Germany and Austria (Ivogün, Kern, Schöne , Jokl, Hüni-Mihaczek, etc.)y. Margarete Perras had the vocal and emotional substance of the Violetta and also the Butterfly. In the following clips you can hear her in  ‘Martern aller Arten’, for me the greatest recording of this aria ever made. In the second clip she gives a deeply moving performance of Konstanze’s grief (note her ability to spin a seemingly endless phrase on  a single breath).

 Martern aller Arten (Konstanze in Die Zauberflöte/Mozart/HMV 1935)

 Welcher Kummer herrscht in meiner Seele (Konstanze in Die Zauberflöte/Mozart/HMV 1937)