Jussi Björling Society - USA



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Anna-Lisa Björling-Barkman

Anna-Lisa Björling-Barkman, widow of Jussi Björling, was well known throughout the operatic
world. She travelled extensively with her husband throughout his international career, serving as
a devoted wife, helpmeet and personal manager. She was known also for her beautiful soprano
voice, and enjoyed her own singing career in the late 1940's and early '50's.

She was born in Stockholm on March 15, 1910, and attended the Royal Academy of Music,
where she met her future husband. She and Jussi were married in 1935, just as his career was
in rapid ascent. After enjoying a decade as wife and mother, she regained her own career with
a performance of La Bohème at the Stockholm Opera in 1948. For a number of years, she also
appeared in many concerts, and sang duo recitals with Jussi, including a spectacular performance
with him at the Hollywood Bowl in 1949, plus a memorable Romeo et Juliette with Jussi in San
Francisco in 1951.

Ten years after Jussi's death, she married family friend and businessman Ulf Barkman, a
marriage lasting more than twenty years until Barkman's death. Mrs. Björling-Barkman became
an honorary member of both the American and Scandinavian JB Societies, for whom she was a
loyal patron and friend. Along with her children, Anders, Lars and Ann Charlotte, she was the
major contributor of Björling recordings, documents and memorabilia to the Björling Museum
in Borlänge, and was present for the museum's opening ceremonies in 1994. She authored Mitt
liv med Jussi
in 1987. She also collaborated with Andrew Farkas on the definitive Björling
biography, Jussi, published in 1996.

Mrs. Björling-Barkman died in Stockholm on November 24, 2006.