Photos with Elfie Mayerhofer
BiographyMarburg an der Drau, Austria-Hungary [now Maribor, Slovenia]
The Viennese Nightingale: Though Miss Elfie Mayerhofer was always completely Viennese in spirit and culture, she was born in Marburg, Yugoslavia on March 15, 1917 and educated there as a child. She began her studies of music in her homeland and then went for further studies in Zürich under Prof. Fred Husler and in Vienna. In 1935 at the Berlin High School of Music under Prof. Lula Mysz-Gmeiner she was a student along with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Peter Anders, who later on married the daughter of Prof. Mysz-Gmeiner. Mayerhofer's first professional engangement was with the theater of youth in Münich and Berlin. Read more... She then worked with the State Opera og Münich. Her clear coloratura soprano voice was so unusual it earned her the nickname "The Viennese Nightingale". Her film debut came in 1938 in the German made western "Woman of Golden Hill" (Femmes pour Golden Hill). The following year she had a role next to Elfriede Datzig in the Austrian film "Hotel Sacher" where she sang a Yugoslavian gypsy folk song. After World War II Mayerhofer performed for Allied troops in Austria and Germany. For her film "Viennese Melodies" she was singled out for honor at the film festival in Locarno, Swotzerland. she returned to doing concerts and opera performances. Herbert von Karajan engaged her for the 1949 Salzburg Music Festival in Austria, where she did the role of Cherubino in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" (in Italian language), alongside Maria Cebotari. In 1949 she opened in Paris, with the Operetta "La Reine des Valses", playing opposite the Belgium Tenor, Henri Legay. In France she recorded the songs; 1. "Stille Nacht" 2. "Mariä Wiegerlied" and others, for Decca-Records. She followed with other performed in non singing roles for the stage. Mayerhofer did two 10" LP's for London Records which were released in France, USA and Great Britain in 1949 and 1951 (But none in her home country), and a third 10" LP for Columbia Records in West Germany in the late 50's, entitled "The Flower of Hawaii" (Die Blume von Hawaii). Her last Austrian film was "Vanished Melodies" (Verlorene Melodies" (Verlorene Melodien) with Peter Alexander and Evelyn Künneke. In 1974 she travelled overseas performing operas, operettas and concerts in USA, Canada and Mexico. she also made several television appearances in Austria and Germany around that time. During her film career, she made nineteen films in Europe, most of them with Viennese settings. Mayerhofer continued to give live performances in Austria almost up until her death on December 28, 1992 in Vienna.