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Otakar Mařák

(*5. 1. 1872 Ostřihom, Hungary †2. 7. 1939 Prague)

Czech tenor

He studied at the Art Academy, singing with Olga Paršová-Zikešová, and later in Paris in 1907. In 1899, he debuted in Brno with Faust in Gounod´s Faust. From 1899 to 1901 and from 1903 to 1907, he was engaged at the National Theatre in Prague. From 1909 to 1934, as a permanent guest. He spent the major of his career abroad and in 1918 he became an American citizen. He guested in must of the important cultural centres in Europe, in particular in Frankfurt (1901/02), In 1903, he was invited by Gustav Mahler to sing in the Curt Opera in Vienna. From 1906 to 1912, he performed at the Berlin Komische Oper an der Weidendammer Brücke, from 1910 to 1912, at the Municipal Theatre of Vinohrady, in 1911 in Berlin Kurfürstenoper, in 1913 in London (i.e. in Strauss´s Ariadne on Naxos, in English premiere). He created many Wagnerian roles in the USA including in particular Parsifal in Chicago (1914). In the National Theatre in Prague, he cooperated with chief conductor Karel Kovařovic and Otakar Ostrčil. He studied approximately 75 roles from the Czech and world repertoires including Jeník in Smetana´s The Bartered Bride, Lukáš in The Kiss, Dalibor in Dalibor, Šťáhlav in Libusse; Tamino in Mozart´s The Magic Flute, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni; Radames in Verdi´s Aida, Alfréd in La Traviata, Manrico in Troubadour; Wagnerian roles Tannhäuser and Lohengrin; Dimitrij in Dvořák´s Dimitrij, Florestan in Beethoven´s Fidelio, Hoffmann in Offenbach´s Hoffmann´s Stories, Werther in Massenet´s Werther, Don José in Bizet´s Carmen, Cavaradossi in Puccini´s Tosca. From 1934 he lived as a teacher in Chicagom and in 1937, with the help of his compatriots, he returned to Prague as an ill man.