One of the most esteemed singers in the 19th century, Jenny Lind was a Swedish opera singer. After an extremely successful career, she settled in Wynd's Point at the foot of British Camp on the Malvern Hills to live her final years. She is buried in the Great Malvern Cemetery on Madresfield Road. Her grave can be found in plot 3, grave number 1264. A sign post points the way.
Born in 1820, she first attracted notoriety singing as Agathe in Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischutz in 1838 at the Swedish Royal Opera. After this performance, in 1840, she became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. Jenny would go on to tour Europe to growing acclaim, although it is believed she suffered from stage fright throughout her career. She had also suffered vocal damage from not having learnt singing techniques and from the overuse of her voice. After performing throughout Sweden and Northern Europe, at the age of 29, she decided to retire from performing opera.
Hans Christian Andersen met Jenny Lind in 1843 and fell in love with her. The romantic feelings were not returned but they became good friends. Andersen's subsequent stories, "The Ugly Duckling", "The Angel" and "The Nightingale" were thought to be inspired by her. Jenny also became close friends with Felix Mendelssohn during her time in Germany. Upset by his death in 1847 at the age of 38, she was unable to sing the part he had written for her in Elijah for over a year.
At the invitation by US showman P T Barnum, Jenny conducted an extremely successful tour of the United States, Cuba and Canada in 1850 - 1852, performing 93 concerts. During the tour, because of Barnum's intense marketing, she decided to leave the tour and continue under her own management. This helped make her a very wealthy woman and allowed her to further live up to her reputation as a philanthropist, giving to numerous charities throughout her life. While in America, in 1852, she married a pianist, Otto Goldschmidt and subsequently had three children.
Jenny continued to work after her return to Europe albeit less frequently. In 1882, she was appointed professor of singing at the Royal College of Music. She wanted all of her students to imporve not just their vocal skills, but piano, harmony, diction, deportment and one foreign language. Having moved to Malvern in 1883 after her daughter had moved to the area, she retired from singing after one final charity concert at the Royal Malvern Spa. She died of cancer in 1887, at the age of 67.