Soloist of the Opera
Ivan Kusnjer graduated from the Academy of Music in Prague, studying with Teodor Šrubař. He reached artistic maturity on opera stages in Ostrava and Brno, and since 1982 has been engaged at Prague’s National Theatre. He attended voice master classes at Accademia Sigiana in Siena and Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome. He is the holder of three prestigious Thalia Awards, for the roles of Tonio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (1994), King George in P. M. Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King (1997) and Vok Vítkovic in Smetana’s The Devil’s Wall (2001). He also received the Gustav Mahler Award, conferred upon him by the City of Jihlava in 2000. His repertoire comprises more than three dozen operatic roles, some twenty cantatas and oratorios and fourteen song cycles. The most noteworthy of his operatic roles include Verdi’s Count Luna (Il trovatore), the Marquis of Posa (Don Carlos), Falstaff, Simon Boccanegra, Iago (Otello), Renato (Un ballo in maschera), Rigoletto, Macbeth, Giorgio Germont (La traviata) and Amonasro (Aida), Scarpia (Puccini: Tosca), the High Priest of Dagon (Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila), Mozart roles, as well as roles of the Czech repertoire – B. Smetana, A. Dvořák, L. Janáček, B. Martinů and others. Ivan Kusnjer has performed on opera and concert stages in Europe, America, the Middle East and Far East. To name but a few: Milan’s La Scala, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Opéra Comique and Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Opéra Nancy, Vienna’s Staatsoper, Brussels’s La Monnaie, Berlin’s Staatsoper, Opera Reykjavik. He has won acclaim at festivals in Cagliari, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Frankfurt and Göteborg. For Supraphon recording company he recorded Janáček’s opera Šárka with the Czech Philharmonic and conductor Sir Charles Mackerras and a profile CD of J. B. Foerster’s work. Ivan Kusnjer is founder of the Fatum foundation for the support of families of musicians who died tragically.
Photo: Chad Evans Wyatt