Ludmila Dvorakova Sings Wagner & Smetana

Album cover art for upc 099925413729
Label: SUPRAPHON
Catalog: SU4137-2
Format: CD

LUDMILA DVO?ÁKOVÁ; PRAGUE NATIONAL THEATRE ORCHESTRA; RUDOLF VAŠATA

Smetana: Dobrá! Já mu je dám!... Jak je mi? (Dalibor) Můj otče (from Libuše) Odcházejí spolu (from The Two Widows) Wagner: Allmächt’ge Jungfrau! (from Tannhäuser) Wie lachend sie mir Lieder singen (from Tristan und Isolde) Mild und leise 'Isolde's Liebestod' (from Tristan und Isolde) Ich sah das Kind an seiner Mutter Brust (from Parsifal) Der Männer Sippe (from Die Walküre) Ewig war ich (from Siegfried) Starke Scheite schichtet mir dort 'Brünnhilde's Immolation Scene' (from Götterdämmerung)

Ludmila Dvořáková enjoyed global fame as a slim, blonde soprano with a magnificent stage presence and possessing a voice of a distinct timbre, capable of both softness and drama, smoothly negotiating the high registers and with a dark middle register, always accurate and breathtaking. She excelled in the most demanding dramatic soprano roles and, following in the footsteps of Ema Destinnová, Maria Jeritza and Jarmila Novotná, was the first modern-era Czech singer to appear at the world’s major opera houses, including the MET in New York. Ludmila Dvořáková started her career in Ostrava and soon caught the attention of Prague, where the National Theatre engaged her in 1954. In the following year, she was afforded the opportunity to work for the Staatsoper in Vienna, and in 1960 for the Staatsoper in Berlin. When Wieland Wagner heard her singing Ortrude in Munich, he invited her to the Bayreuth festival. Her debut appearance, in 1965, was followed by six years of collaboration and a degree of fame that no Czech artist had previously attained in Bayreuth. In 1966, she was offered contracts with the MET and Covent Garden. This recital, featuring recordings released on CD for the very first time, is compiled from Dvořáková’s rare studio recordings made for Supraphon and Czechoslovak Radio. The venerable soprano’s imminent 90th birthday represents a perfect opportunity to recall a voice that garnered enthusiastic applause at major opera houses worldwide.

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