German soprano Inge Borkh was born Ingeborg Simon in Mannheim on 26 May 1921. She studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna and also studied dance. Later she studied voice with Vittorio Moratti in Milan, and afterwards at the Salzburg Mozarteum.
She began her career as a dramatic soprano in Switzerland, and was first noticed internationally in 1951 when she sang Magda in the first German language performance of The Consul by Gian Carlo Menotti. By 1952 she was appearing at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bavarian State Opera, and the Bayreuth and Edinburgh festivals.
She retired from a stunning career in opera in 1973, following seven performances of Elektra in Italy, and died many years later, aged ninety-seven, in Stuttgart on 26 August 2018.