Jan JežekGuest of the Opera
Jan Ježek graduated in 1980 from the State Conservatory in Prague. While still a student, he became a soloist of the operetta ensemble of the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň. After spending there almost ten years, he accepted an offer from the Karlín Music Theatre in Prague. In 1991 he succeeded in an audition for Prague’s National Theatre Opera and after the ensembles were divided became a soloist at State Opera Prague. During his three years engagement with this theatre he performed as Cassio (Verdi: Otello), Laerte (Thomas: Mignon), Walter (Wagner: Tannhäuser), Franz (Offenbach: Les contes d‘Hoffmann) and Števa (Janáček: Jenůfa); later on, as a freelancer he appeared there in the roles of, for example, Mozart’s Pedrillo (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) and Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte), Shuisky (Musorgsky: Boris Godunov), Tichon (Janáček: Katya Kabanova), Arturo (Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor) and as Eisenstein in J. Strauss’s operetta Die Fledermaus. In 1992 he was afforded the opportunity to portray Jean Valjean in the musical Les Misérables, and from 2003 to 2007 also in the new staging of this successful work. On the stage of the National Theatre in Prague he has guest appeared in the roles of Števa in Janáček’s Jenůfa, Barůch in the world premiere of Petr Eben’s opera Jeremias and the productions of Bizet’s Carmen, Smetana’s The Bartered Bride and Dalibor, Dvořák’s Rusalka, Janáček’s The Makropulos Affair and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. From 1997 to 2000 he was artistic director of operetta and musical ensemble of the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň. He has also appeared on stages abroad, including Opéra National de Lyon (the Gamekeeper in Rusalka and Shuisky in Boris Godunov), toured the USA (Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus), Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, France and Japan. He has received two Literary Fund Awards for interpreting a role (1988, 1989), won the Lehár’s Komárno voice competition and received the prestigious Thalia Award in the Operetta-Musical category (1999). As a founder of a modern tradition and producer, he has annually prepared the opera festival Loket Cultural Summer held at the open air theatre beneath Loket castle.