Birgit was often asked about her debut and sometimes about her first recordings and then she often mentioned the conductors Tor Mann and Sixten Ehrling, but she also mentioned her very first recordings on lacquer discs made in Gothenburgh. These were found in 2019 in Svenstad but were in such poor condition that they were considered lost.
However, there was a team at Institut national de l’audiovisuel (INA) in Paris that was engaged in research specifically on early recorded discs that were in danger of being lost. They managed to recreate the sound so that Birgit could be heard singing for the very first time. A lacquer disc with Birgit’s mother Justina was also found and her singing can now be heard in the family living room in Svenstad, today the Birgit Nilsson Museum.
“A first and last with Birgit Nilsson” refers to the coincidence that this, her first recording, happened to be her last professional appearance at The Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1983 where she celebrated their first primadonna Christina Nilsson.
Text: Gary Nilsson