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Lenka Šmídová passed away

05/29/2022

Opera

It is with great sadness that we announce to all our colleagues, spectators and friends that Lenka Šmídová, a soloist of the  National Theatre Opera, passed away in Prague on 27 May 2022 at the age of 60 years.

She was born in Prague on 15 December 1961. She graduated from the conservatory as a pupil of Helena Tattermuschová, following with her studies at the Academy of Performing Arts under René Tuček. To further her education, she spent a year in Osimo, Italy. She first performed as a guest at the National Theatre in 1987 as Widow Zimmerlein in Die schweigsame Frau by Richard Strauss. She followed with Polina in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame and Eboli in Verdi’s Don Carlos in 1989. In 1990, she became a soloist of the National Theatre Opera. After the separation of the ensembles of the National Theatre and the Prague State Opera, she performed in both theatres. Her repertoire included roles such as Bizet’s Carmen, Verdi’s Amneris in Aida, Azucena in Il trovatore, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Preziosilla in La forza del destino, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, the Countess in the Pique Dame, the Princess in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Děčana in Smetana’s Brandenburgers in Bohemia, Martinka in The Kiss and Háta in The Bartered Bride, the Third Wood Sprite and the Witch in Dvořák’s Rusalka and Kate in The Devil and Kate, Varvara in Janáček’s Katya Kabanova and the Grandmother in Jenůfa, Sonyetka in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the Mother in Eben’s Jeremias etc.

In recent years, spectators could appreciate her excellent singing and acting talent for example as Madelon in Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, the Mother in Orson Štědroň’s Don Hrabal or in Wajsar’s Tramvestie.  She played the Mother in the film version of Les larmes du couteau by Bohuslav Martinů (1999). She was a woman of the theatre and – in spite of being a soloist of the National Theatre Opera – she never hesitated to help out her colleagues as a smart prompter or an assistant director while rehearsing productions (by M. Forman, P. and M. Forman and J. Nekvasil). Her last performance at the National Theatre was Lotinka in Dvořák’s Jacobin on 17 April of this year.

As a singer, she performed at countless concerts in France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa and in the Near and Middle East.

Teaching was another essential part of the life and she devoted time to her students until her last moments. In her, we have lost a unique and unselfish colleague, who had both sense of humour and ever-burning passion for the theatre that she loved. She always cared for the future of out theatre, as well as for the working conditions of its artists – whom she defended with amazing vigour.

We honour her memory!

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