Which singer was nicknamed the 'Swedish Nightingale'?
Jenny Lind, born Johanna Maria Lind (1820-1887) was a Swedish opera singer nicknamed the 'Swedish Nightingale'. She was much sought after for opera roles throughout Sweden and northern Europe during the 1840s and became the protégée of the German composer Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847). She earned her nickname for her fantastic soprano voice.
In 1850, Lind travelled to America at the invitation of the showman P. T. Barnum (1810-1891), who the actor Hugh Jackman portrayed in the musical film 'The Greatest Showman' (2017). Under Barnum's management, Lind gave 93 concerts, donating the proceeds to Swedish charities.
In 1852, Lind married the pianist Otto Goldschmidt (1829-1907) and returned to Europe. Despite having three children, she gave occasional concerts over the next two decades and moved to England in 1855. In 1882, Lind became a professor of singing at the Royal College of Music in London.
Lind was the inspiration for Hans Christian Andersen's (1805-1875) fairytale, 'The Nightingale'. The Danish author had fallen in love with her when they met during her tour of Denmark in 1843.
Jenny Lind died on 2nd November 1887 from cancer. She is buried in the Great Malvern Cemetery and is commemorated in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, under the name "Jenny Lind-Goldschmidt".