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Erika Wagner

Foto: D'Ora Kallmus (1881-1963)
Mit freundlicher Genehmigung
Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Copyright

1890 - 1974

The actress and singer Erika Wagner (also called Erika Stiedry-Wagner or Erika von Wagner) was born in Zabeln.

She became interested into the theater scene and took acting lessons. She gained a foothold on stage in 1907 and she began her artistic career in Meiningen.
In the next years followed engagements at different theaters, among them the Burgtheater in Vienna, the Theater in der Josefstadt and the Neue Schauspielhaus in Berlin where sie worked together with Max Reinhardt.

She extended her artistic repertoire from 1920 with singing performances and she appeared in musical productions, among them Arnold Schönberg's "Pierrot" (21). With this play she toured through Europe in the next years.
Many other engagements followed, e.g. she took part in a BBC concert and appeared in charity concerts.

Erika Wagner also took part in few movies. To these productions belong "Die um Liebe kämpfen" (18), "Die Sünde" (22) "Die Strafe" (22), "Goethe - Gedenkfilm, 1. Teil: Der Werdegang" (32) with Theodor Loos and Luise Ullrich, "Friederike" (32) with Mady Christians, Veit Harlan and Paul Hörbiger and Walter Reisch's "Episode" (35) with Paula Wessely, Karl-Ludwig Diehl and Otto Tressler.

With the rise of the National Socialist her husband, the bandmaster Fritz Stiedry, was no longer able to work in Germany. Therefore he accepted an engagement in Russia and Erika Wagner followed him.

In 1937 they both went to Austria but after the annexation they went to the USA. At the beginning she rarely had the opportunity to continue her artistic career there.

Erika Wagner lived with her husband in the USA till 1958. After the end of his engagement at the Metropolitan Opera they went to Zurich. Erika Wagner remained active there in the cultural society.