Kirsten Flagstad was one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos of the 20th century. Born of musical parents in Hamar, Norway, she studied in Oslo, made her stage debut there as Nuri in Eugen d'Albert's Tiefland in 1913, and studied further in Stockholm. It was not until 1932 however that her voice became heavy enough for Wagnerian roles, and she took on the role of Isolde in that year. In 1933 and 1934 she sang small roles at Bayreuth. Her debut in New York in 1935 as Sieglinde in Die Walkre, broadcast nationwide, brought her great recognition and the title "The Voice of the Century." She followed that performance four days later with Isolde, and later in the same season with Brünhilde, Elsa, Elizabeth, and her first Kundry. In 1936 and 1937, she sang the great Wagnerian roles at San Francisco, Chicago, and the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. In 1938, Paramount Studios included her in the role of Brünhilde in the movie The Big Broadcast with Bob Hope. After the war, she sang for four seasons at Covent Garden, touring to South America and San Francisco. Her farewell performance at the Met took place on April 1, 1952, as the title role in Gluck's Alceste. Her final career performance was Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the Mermaid Theatre in London in 1953. From 1958 to 1960, she was the first director of the Royal Norwegian Opera.