Monday, August 20, 2012

A Czech Diva

3 operas at Bayreuth this week and now feeling a bit of a letdown in Prague.  So to preserve the operatic state of mind:  Maria Jeritza (1887-1982), the great Czech singer.  Debut in the part of Elsa in Lohengrin in 1910.  Lohengrin was the last of the works we just saw--in a crazy/wonderful production with the chorus in mice costumes à la Art Spiegelman's Maus.  Tremendous singing, though, from the Lohengrin, Klaus Florian Vogt, and gorgeous Elsa too, Annette Dasch.  Exquisite playing by orchestra.

Jeritza was nicknamed the 'Moravian Thunderbolt' on account of the vocal sparks she emitted.  Hapsburg Emperor Franz Josef had a major jones for her.  But after a long and eventful career she married an American businessman and died in New Jersey, having nearly reached 100 years of age.