For four decades, Marie Podvalová (1909–1992) was one of the most popular and sought-after opera singers of the National Theatre in Prague, where she was engaged from 1937 to 1978. She dazzled in the part of Bedřich Smetana’s Libuše, which she created in 1938 under the guidance of the conductor Václav Talich, as well as in the roles of Milada in Dalibor and Anežka in Two Widows. She also appeared in Dvořák operas, performing to acclaim Armida, the Foreign Princess in Rusalka and Julie in The Jacobin, and in Janáček works, primarily excelling as Kostelnička in Jenůfa. Supraphon is for the first time releasing the complete studio recordings Marie Podvalová made between 1939 and 1950. The set encompasses three songs from the collection Věnec ze zpěvů vlasteneckých (A Garland of Patriotic Songs, 1835–1844), which she performs accompanied on the piano by J. B. Foerster. It contains Marie Podvalová’s final, previously unreleased, studio recording, with the soprano singing Beatrice in a scene from Zdeněk Fibich’s opera The Bride of Messina. The album also captures the voices of Jan Konstantin, Jindřich Blažíček, Marta Krásová, Ivo Žídek, Jaroslav Gleich, Zdeněk Otava, Štěpánka Jelínková, Jaroslav Jaroš, Josef Otakar Masák, Maria Tauberová, Luděk Mandaus, Stanislav Muž, and other singers. The Prague Symphony Orchestra and the National Theatre Orchestra are conducted by Rudolf Vašata, Zdeněk Chalabala, Jaroslav Krombholc, František Škvor, Zdeněk Folprecht, Otakar Jeremiáš and Karel Nedbal. The release marks the 30th anniversary of the legendary artist’s death.
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