Josef Průdek

Was born in 1944 in Prague, studied at the conservatoire, then at the Academy of Performing Arts. After finishing his studies in 1969 he joined the opera ensemble of the Jihočeské divadlo (South Bohemian Theatre) in České Budějovice as a soloist. At the same time, he collaborated on new productions as assistant director. He first independent undertaking as a director was Smetana’s The Devil’s Wall (1974). The Czech operas he directed in the Jihočeské divadlo also includes Smetana’s The Bartered Bride and Bohuslav Martinu’s one-act The Marriage and A Comedy on the Bridge; among the world operas he has done were Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, Gluck’s L’Ivrogne corrige and his ballet Don Juan, Cimarosa’s The Secret Marriage and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Of the classical operettas which are also in the repertoire of Jihočeské divadlo ensemble he produced Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Emmerich Kalman’s The Csardas Princess and Countess Marica and he also prepared Zdeněk Petr’s A Hundred Ducates for Juan. From 1990 he was the head of the opera ensemble in České Budějovice, directing one work per season on average and singing in the other productions. He appeared as a guest director in the theatres in Ústi nad Labem (Strauss - Die Fledermaus, Flotow - Marta), Bánská Bystrica in Slovakia (Smetana - The Kiss) and in Meiningen (Smetana - The Bartered Bride). In 1993 he produced Dvořák’s The Jacobin and a year later Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci in the National Theatre in Prague. During years 1996 to 2002 he was the Opera Director of the National Theatre Opera and gave up his singing career. However, he continues to direct. In April 1997 he directed on the stage of the National Theatre Janáček’s Jenufa, which was in 1999 during the tour of Japan awarded the production of the year by Tokio press. For the Prague Spring Festival 1997 he prepared Petr Eben’s Jeremias and in 1999 Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. In year 2000, he directed in co-production of the National Theatre and Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos in Lisbon Janáček’s Jenufa and in the National Theatre Z. Fibich and J. Vrchlický’s melodrama The Death of Hippodamie. His last stage direction in the National Theatre was W. A. Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in 2002.


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