Johanna Albrecht
Johanna Albrecht
Johanna Albrecht
Johanna Albrecht
Johanna Albrecht
Johanna Albrecht

Obituary of Johanna Albrecht

Johanna Albrecht died peacefully at home in Albany on May 14, 2024 at the age of 95.
She was the only child of Werner Albrecht and Lillie V. Albrecht, of Westfield, Massachusetts, and is survived by her daughter, author Susanne Alleyn.
The granddaughter of a German-American concert singer, even in her childhood Johanna loved classical music and opera, eventually earning a B.A. in music from Smith College. After college, eager for a change of scenery, she spent several years in Los Angeles and in Colorado as a member of the Harriette Ann Gray dance company in the early 1950s, then returned to the East Coast and continued her singing studies. Moving to Germany in 1955, she performed leading roles in many German operettas and in the German-language premiere of Kiss Me, Kate!
After returning to the United States in 1967, Johanna earned a master’s degree in theater, also at Smith. In New York City she sang everything from solos in baroque oratorios to roles in workshop productions and premieres of both musicals and modern operas, ranging from Steven Margoshes’ operatic treatment of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to rock musicals by Jim Steinman. At regional theaters, she appeared in principal roles in classic musicals, including six different productions of The Sound of Music (as the Mother Abbess, her favorite role). In the late 1970s she was the solo singer accompanying the Martha Graham Dance Company’s full-length dance-drama Clytemnestra on Broadway, in London, on PBS’s televised Dance in America, and at the Metropolitan Opera House (of which her most vivid memory would always be of finding a live cockroach on her shoulder, on stage in the middle of a performance).
Between singing engagements, Johanna taught voice at the Kent School (Kent, CT) for 30 years, where she will be remembered by her colleagues for her talent, graciousness, humor, and artistic integrity. Her many students at Kent included such future stars as internationally renowned operatic tenor Joseph Kaiser and actor-animator-writer-director-singer Seth MacFarlane.
Eventually leaving New York City in 1988, Johanna moved to the upper Hudson Valley, where she taught private voice lessons and was involved in many local classical music events. Her 2002 portrayal of Fräulein Schneider in Cabaret, at Stageworks in Hudson and at Rhinebeck’s Center For the Performing Arts, drew raves from local reviewers.
Her interests and favorite activities included reading, history, gardening, travel, relaxing with her cats, Sunday evening get-togethers with friends over a bottle of wine, and the occasional hike in the Catskills. Her love of ancient Greece, inspired by her singing role in Clytemnestra, led her to two lengthy backpacking trips to Greece with her daughter, including a memorable visit to the mythical Clytemnestra’s Mycenae.
Johanna was an extraordinarily talented performer, a good and generous friend, and a wonderful mother.
We will miss her.
Cremation has taken place through the care of Simple Choices, Inc.
In accordance with Johanna’s wishes, there will be no calling hours or service.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Johanna’s name can be made to Smith College, or to the Community Hospice in Albany.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared with the Albrecht Family, online at:
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