Frida Leider (1888-1975) was born in Berlin and had to work at an early age to support her family after the death of her father. Yet, she was able to study singing in her free time with various teachers. Debut in 1915 at the Stadttheater von Halle (Saale) as Venus (Tannhäuser). Passing Rostock and Königsberg she reached the Hamburgische Staatsoper (1919-23). During these years she broadened her repertory and made her first recordings. 1921 Staatsoper Berlin, which became her artistic home.
Guest appearances all over the world Covent Garden (1924-38), Wiener Staatsoper, Scala Milan, Paris Opéra, Teatro Colón, Chicago, Metropolitan Opera (debut as Isolde). She was a regular at both the Festival at Zoppot (1924, 1925, 1927) and Bayreuth (1928 bis 1938). During the 1930 her situation in Germany was becoming more and more difficult: her Jewish husband whom she refused to divorce could barely escape to Switzerland. Leider suffered a lot from this separation but remained in Germany where she continued to perform in opera despite of enormous political pressure until 1942. She continued to give concerts (with Michael Raucheisen) and later she was also working as a stage director. Her last public appearance took place in Berlin at the Renaissance-theater in 1946 together with her friend and colleague Margarete Klose.
Leider often declared that she did not think of her voice primarily as a Wagnerian one. She felt that the Italian repertory had significantly „opened“ her voice and made its sound more „free“. Not only vocally, but also as a stylist she is absolutely at home in both the Italian and the German repertory.