LUDMILA DVOŘÁKOVÁ, Soprano * 11 July 1923, Kolín, Czech Republic + 30 July 2015, Prague, Czech Republic;

12 Jul

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Opera Singer. A dramatic soprano, she shall be remembered for Wagnerian interpretations. Raised within the turmoil of the Weimar Republic and the Nazi Era, her musical ambitions were put on hold until after World War II when she settled in then-Czechoslovakia and studied at the Prague Conservatory. Ludmila made her 1949 professional bow at Ostravia, joined the Prague National Theatre in 1954, and in 1960 launched the international phase of her career with appearances at the Berlin State Opera and the Vienna State Opera (VSO). Over her time before the public, she became known for presenting a rather limited repertoire rather than for trying to ‘sing everything’, her roles including such Wagnerian characters as the Irish Princess Isolde of “Tristan und Isolde”, Ortrud from “Lohengrin”, Senta in “The Flying Dutchman”, Elisabeth from “Tannhauser”, and Brunnhilde of “The Ring Cycle” as well as Leonora from Beethoven’s “Fidelio” and Chrysothemis in Richard Strauss’ “Elektra”. Heard to great acclaim at Covent Garden and at Wagner’s Bayreuth Festspielhaus, Ludmila bowed at the Metropolitan Opera on January 12, 1966 as Leonora and was to be heard 16 more times at both the Old and New Mets up thru 1968, her assignments including Isolde, Ortrud, Senta, and Chrysothemis. Heard in many major cities, among them Munich, East Berlin, Washington, and Rio de Janeiro, she also performed recitals which usually highlighted the music of Wagner and of Czech composer Bedric Smetana. Ludmila retired around 1985 and remained in her adopted Prague, 1n 2002 received the Thalia Prize for Lifetime Operatic Achievement, and in 2012 was bestowed the Antonin Dvorak Prize. She died along with her sister in a house fire; her recorded legacy is rather small but most of it is available on CD, along with ‘pirates’ from her live performances. (bio by: Bob Hufford)

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Posted by on July 12, 2017 in Sopranos


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