A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Pruckner, Caroline

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PRUCKNER, Caroline, singer and professor, was born at Vienna in 1832, and developed dramatic feeling together with a powerful voice so early in life that, notwithstanding the counsels of prudence, she was heard (at a provincial theatre) in the part of Adalgisa when only 15. An engagement followed in 1850 at the Hanover Court Theatre, where she won much applause as Martha, Susanna, Leonora ('Stradella,') etc. Two years later similar success attended her performances, at Mannheim, of more arduous parts, such as Elvira and Valentine. Thus seemingly launched upon a brilliant career, Caroline Pruckner must have cruelly felt the total loss of her voice in 1855, when she was barely 24 years of age; and it speaks well for the courage and the temper of the budding prima donna that she at once resigned herself in the best possible way by devoting herself to teach the art she loved, especially that branch of it which is concerned with the nursing of the vocal organs (as a part of voice-training), and the healing of injuries done by forcing and other ill-usage. Fräulein Pruckner applied her newly acquired science to her own case; and to some extent her voice recovered its power. It was at Luib's Polyhymnia that she entered upon her professorial life; after two years, in 1870, she opened an independent School of Opera in the Feinfalter Strasse, whence a move was effected in 1887 to the Hohenstaufengasse. Her 'Theorie und Praxis der Gesangskuust' (Schlesinger 1872) has gained for the authoress a wide celebrity, and on the appearance of a second edition (1883), the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin decorated her with a gold medal for art and science. The production of new songs and cantatas is an important feature of the concerts and lectures given at the Schools of Song and Opera by Fräulein Pruckner and her pupils.

[ L. M. M. ]