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Otakar Mařák

Otakar Mařák Czech opera singer

Czech opera singer
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Czech opera singer
Was Singer Opera singer
From Czech Republic
Type Music
Gender male
Birth 5 January 1872, Esztergom, Esztergom District, Komárom-Esztergom County, Hungary
Death 2 August 1939, Prague, Duchy of Bohemia (aged 67 years)
The details

Otakar Mařák (5 January 1872 Esztergom, Hungary – 2 July 1939 Prague) was a tenor Czech opera singer, and a nephew of Julius Mařák who perfected his vocal skills at Prague’s School of Applied Arts as well as at the Czech Academy of Arts. At the same time he studied singing privately.

Musical career

Mařák made his debut in the title role of Charles Gounod’s opera Faust on 1 February 1899 in Brno, Czech Republic. In the same year he was engaged by the National Theatre in Prague. From 1901, he performed abroad. He was a regular member of the National Theatre between 1899–1901 and again in 1903–1907. Thereafter he sang on this first Czech stage as a permanent guest. In 1907 he left for Paris, where he continued to school his voice then in 1908–1918 performed at London’s Covent Garden and Berlin’s Komische Oper. Following World War I, Mařák became an American citizen and went on to teach in the country between 1934–1937. A brain seizure in 1937 forced his to return to Prague where he died two years later. He especially excelled in Smetana parts such as Jeník in The Bartered Bride, Dalibor, Ladislav Podhajský in The Two Widows, Lucas in The Kiss as well as in traditional world repertory which saw Mařák play Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Massenet’s Werther, Cavaradossi in Tosca and Alfred Germont in La Traviata. He often took on the role of Don José in Bizet’s Carmen.

Together with Emmy Destinn and Karel Burian, Mařák completed the trio of well-known early 20th century Czech singers.

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