Edita Gruberová

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Edita Gruberová
2013 Edita Gruberová (8728833715).jpg
Gruberová in 2013
Born(1946-12-23)23 December 1946
Died18 October 2021(2021-10-18) (aged 74)
Zürich, Switzerland
OccupationOperatic soprano
Years active1968–2020
OrganisationVienna State Opera
TitleKammersängerin
Awards

Edita Gruberová (Slovak: [ˈedita ˈɡruberoʋaː]; 23 December 1946 – 18 October 2021) was a Slovak coloratura soprano. She made her stage debut in Bratislava in 1968 as Rosina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, but successfully auditioned at the Vienna State Opera the following year, which became her base. She enjoyed huge success internationally in roles such as Mozart's Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss. In her later career, she explored heavier roles in the Italian bel canto repertoire, such as the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Elvira in Bellini's I puritani, and Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux. In 2019, she portrayed Elizabeth I who leaves her throne, concluding a stage career performing leading roles over 51 years. She is remembered as the "Slowakische Nachtigall" (Slovak Nightingale), and as the last prima donna assoluta.

Early life and education[edit]

Gruberová was born on 23 December 1946[1] in Rača, Bratislava,[2] to a German father and a Hungarian mother.[3][4][5] As an anti-communist, her father survived a five-year prison sentence for treason.[6] Her father drank and she developed a close relationship with her mother.[7] She sang in a school choir and in the children's choir of the broadcaster.[8] The pastor of the parish where she prepared for Confirmation accompanied her when she sang solos at church, and prepared her in piano playing to pass the exam to enter the conservatory.[9] Gruberová began her musical studies at the Bratislava Conservatory (Konzervatórium v Bratislave),[9][8] where she was a student of Mária Medvecká [cs].[10] She then continued at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (VŠMU).[11][12] While studying, she was a singer of the Lúčnica folk ensemble and appeared several times in the Slovak National Theatre. Later she studied with Ruthilde Boesch in Vienna.[13]

Career[edit]

Opera[edit]

In 1968, Gruberová made her operatic debut at the National Theatre in Bratislava as Rosina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia.[4][14][15] After winning a singing competition in Toulouse, she was then engaged as a soloist of the opera ensemble of the J. G. Tajovský Theatre in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, from 1968 to 1970.[4][9][16] Among her roles there was Eliza in Loewe's musical My Fair Lady.[17] Since communist Czechoslovakia was going through normalisation, during which the borders to non-communist countries were closed, Medvecká surreptitiously arranged for an audition for Gruberová at the Vienna State Opera in the summer of 1969. She was immediately engaged, and made her breakthrough the following year when she appeared as the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.[4][15] In 1971, Gruberová decided to emigrate to the West.[18] She became a member of the Vienna State Opera in 1972,[10][19] but for the first years was given secondary and supporting roles.[20] She was invited to perform at many of the most important opera houses in the world, especially in coloratura roles.[4] Gruberová made her debut at Glyndebourne in 1973 as the Queen of the Night.[4][21] She became an Austrian citizen in 1974.[22]

In Vienna, she studied with Ruthilde Boesch, whom she described as a wonderful, tough, diligent teacher, the demanding role of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss.[20] Although a guest was planned to sing the role in a new production in 1976, Gruberová convinced conductor Karl Böhm that she was capable. The premiere won her international recognition,[9] and Böhm wished that the composer could have heard that performance.[2] Gruberová first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in 1977,[23] again as the Queen of the Night, conducted by James Conlon.[24] She appeared there as Zerbinetta in 1979 in a live broadcast conducted by James Levine, and a reviewer of Opera News noted:

New, and a brilliant addition to the ensemble, was Edita Gruberova as Zerbinetta, The Slovak soprano is everything one could hope for in this soaring, most demanding role, for she acts enchantingly, sings with great skill and musicality and possesses a voice that not only sails easily to the top, but is filled out with sweetness and quality; she had a triumph, predictably, not only in her big aria, but in the touching duet with the Composer in the prologue as well.[25]

In 1977, she first appeared at the Salzburg Festival, as Thibault in Verdi's Don Carlo, conducted by Herbert von Karajan. She appeared as Gilda in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's 1982 film of Rigoletto, alongside Ingvar Wixell in the title role and Luciano Pavarotti as the Duke,[26] and in his 1988 film of Mozart's Così fan tutte, alongside Delores Ziegler and Ferruccio Furlanetto.[27] Gruberová made her Royal Opera House debut as Giulietta in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi in 1984. Other important roles include the title roles of Verdi's La traviata, Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, and Massenet's Manon. She performed as Konstanze in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Oscar in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera.

Gruberová in 2008

Gruberová appeared as a regular guest at the Zürich Opera, as Marie in Donizetti's La fille du régiment in 1984, as Lucia in 1990, and in the title role of Rossini's Semiramide in 1992. She performed there in the title role of Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix in 1995, as Elvira in Bellini's I puritani in 1999, in the title role of Donizetti's Anna Bolena in 2000, and in the title role of Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda in 2001.[10] The same year, she withdrew from all her performances at the Zürich Opera, after Alexander Pereira [de], then intendant, refused that her dancer daughter's injury, which ruined her career, was an occupational accident.[9] In 2012, she appeared there again in a recital, stepping in for Jonas Kaufmann.[28] Later that year, after Pereira's departure, she finally performed with the company again, in a revival of Roberto Devereux.[29]

Gruberová appeared as Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni at La Scala in Milan in 1987 and as Elisabetta in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux in Vienna in 1990. The role became one of her signature roles; in a new production in Munich directed by Christof Loy, she made peace with Regietheater in a dramatic portrayal of the Queen, without losing coloratura brilliance. She always performed coloratura ornamentation with dramatic expressiveness, with humour as Zerbinetta, and in rapture with a high trill as the dying Antonia in Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann .[2] In 2006, she added the title role in Bellini's Norma to her repertoire, at the Bavarian State Opera.[9]

She gave her last opera performance on 27 March 2019 as Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux at the Bavarian State Opera.[30][8] She convincingly portrayed the aging Elizabeth I who leaves her throne, with still breathtaking singing.[2] She concluded her stage career after 51 years of singing leading roles,[2] and received ovations for 58 minutes.[14] She then focused on concerts and giving masterclasses.[30][8] She officially retired from the stage in September 2020, in part due to delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic which made planning further performances difficult.[31] Her last performance was in Gersthofen on 20 December 2019,[32] as two planned farewell performances in a semi-staged Roberto Devereux at the State Theatre Košice at the end of November 2020 were eventually cancelled due to the pandemic.[33]

Lied[edit]

Gruberová was introduced to Lieder repertoire by Harald Goertz [de], a professor at the Vienna Music Academy, and repetiteur at the Vienna State Opera. They often performed together, until Erik Werba became her Lied partner with whom she performed songs by Franz Schubert, Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler.[9] They gave a recital at the Salzburg Festival in 1980,[9] with clarinetist Peter Schmidl, of songs by Schubert, Mendelssohn and Strauss.[34]

Recognition[edit]

Gruberová was an Austrian and Bavarian Kammersängerin, and an honorary member of the Vienna State Opera[15][8] from 1988.[10] She was known as the "Slowakische Nachtigall" (Slovak Nightingale).[35] She was regarded as the last prima donna assoluta.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Gruberová was married to Štefan Klimo, a Czech composer and musicologist.[10] They divorced in 1983 and Klimo took his own life soon afterwards.[36] Beginning in the 1980s she had a long professional and personal relationship with Friedrich Haider, a pianist and conductor.[37][38] They separated in 2007.[39] She is the mother of two daughters, including the dancer and choreographer Barbara Klimo.[38][40] She moved her residence to Zürich in the mid-1980s for tax reasons.[41]

Gruberová died of an accidental head injury in Zürich on 18 October 2021 at age 74.[42][13][43][44][45]

Recordings[edit]

Gruberová made many recordings,[4][10] most notably in full-length opera, and extended selections from Donizetti's Tudor Queens' trilogy and other bel canto operas. She recorded Die Zauberflöte with conductors Alain Lombard, Bernard Haitink and Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Ariadne auf Naxos with Georg Solti, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Heinz Wallberg, among others.[20] In her later years, she recorded exclusively on the Nightingale label that she founded. More than a dozen of her filmed and televised opera appearances have been released on DVD, including Die Zauberflöte, Così fan tutte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, I puritani, Norma, Manon, Beatrice di Tenda, and Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia and Linda di Chamounix, and Ariadne auf Naxos.[4]

She recorded Bach's solo cantatas for soprano, such as Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51, and Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199, in 1979, with Helmut Winschermann conducting the Deutsche Bachsolisten and trumpeter Wolfgang Basch.[46][47]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (22 October 2021). "Edita Gruberova, Dazzling Soprano With Emotional Power, Dies at 74". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 23 October 2021. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Kesting, Jürgen (30 March 2019). "Ich regiere nicht mehr. Geht!". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Frankfurt. Archived from the original on 8 August 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  3. ^ Langer, Emily (19 October 2021). "Edita Gruberova, dazzling operatic soprano, dies at 74". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 20 October 2021. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Patmore, David. "Elena Gruberová". Naxos Records. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  5. ^ Discography Archived 9 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine AllMusic
  6. ^ Spinola, Julia (19 October 2021). "Edita Gruberová: Nachruf". Süddeutsche.de (in German). Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  7. ^ ""Königin der Koloratur": Starsopranistin Edita Gruberová gestorben". FAZ.NET (in German). 18 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Die Gruberova beendet ihre Opernkarriere". Die Zeit (in German). Hamburg. dpa. 27 March 2019. Archived from the original on 31 July 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Hanning, Ilona (19 December 2016). ""Einfach Rauf und Runter" – Die Sopranistin Edita Gruberová". BR-Klassik. Archived from the original on 19 July 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Kutsch, K.J.; Riemens, L.; Rost, H. (2012). Gruberová, Edita. Großes Sängerlexikon (in German). De Gruyter. p. 1858. ISBN 978-3-598-44088-5. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Edita Gruberová: Aj diamant treba brúsiť". Kultúra SME (in Slovak). Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  12. ^ "Vo veku 74 rokov zomrela v Zürichu slovenská operná speváčka Edita Gruberová". Denník N (in Slovak). 18 October 2021. Archived from the original on 18 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Starsopranistin Edita Gruberova ist tot". Salzburger Nachrichten (in German). 18 October 2021. Archived from the original on 18 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
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  17. ^ a b "Edita Gruberova hat Grund zu feiern". oe1.orf.at (in German). 18 October 2021. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  18. ^ Brug, Manuel (18 October 2021). "Edita Gruberová: Großmächtige Koloraturprinzessin". Die Welt (in German). Archived from the original on 18 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  19. ^ "Vorstellungen mit Edita Gruberova". Spielplanarchiv der Wiener Staatsoper (in German). Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  20. ^ a b c d Kesting, Jürgen (20 October 2021). "Ein Sonnenstrahl, durch einen Diamanten gebrochen". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Frankfurt. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  21. ^ "The Opera Archive". glyndebourne.com. Glyndebourne. 2013. Archived from the original on 30 September 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  22. ^ Pick, Hella (20 August 1979). "From Prague Spring to Salzburg". The Guardian. London. p. 6. Retrieved 19 October 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ Kozinn, Allan (7 November 1989). "Reviews/Music; Edita Gruberova in Recital". The New York Times. New York City. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  24. ^ "Die Zauberflöte {211} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/5/1977". Met archives. 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  25. ^ Jacobson, Robert (2021). "Ariadne auf Naxos {32} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 03/10/1979., Broadcast". Met archives. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  26. ^ Rigoletto (1982) at IMDb
  27. ^ Così fan tutte (1988) at IMDb
  28. ^ "Comeback von Edita Gruberova". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 9 May 2012. Archived from the original on 30 July 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  29. ^ Schneider, Oliver (1 October 2012). "Die triumphale Rückkehr von Edita Gruberova". DrehPunktKultur. Archived from the original on 19 July 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  30. ^ a b Salazar, Francisco (20 March 2019). "Edita Gruberova Gives Final Performances At The Bayerische Staatsoper". OperaWire. Archived from the original on 22 March 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  31. ^ Dörfner, Antje (14 September 2020). "Star-Sopranistin Edita Gruberová beendet Karriere: Zum Jahresende ist Schluss". BR-Klassik. Archived from the original on 8 March 2021. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  32. ^ "Clap de fin pour Edita Gruberová ?". Forumopera.com. 14 September 2020. Archived from the original on 30 September 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  33. ^ Bejda, Róbert (18 November 2020). "Operná diva Edita Gruberová definitívne končí kariéru". Korzár (in Slovak). Archived from the original on 5 December 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  34. ^ "Edita Gruberová". 2021. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  35. ^ a b "Slowakische Nachtigall" / Edita Gruberova ausgezeichnet. Archived 10 July 2021 at the Wayback Machine (in German) In: Rathauskorrespondenz, 27 May 2009
  36. ^ "Mittagsmusik – Thema der Woche: "Einfach rauf und runter" – die Sopranistin Edita Gruberová". BR-KLASSIK (in German). 23 April 2019. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  37. ^ Thiel 2012, p. 222.
  38. ^ a b c d e Suter, Paul (18 October 2021). "Edita Gruberova – Theaterlexikon". Theaterlexikon (in German). Archived from the original on 9 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  39. ^ "Zugabe – Namen, Nachrichten, Nettigkeiten: Neues von der Hinterbühne". www.rondomagazin.de. Archived from the original on 11 April 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  40. ^ "Sopranistin Gruberová verlässt die Opernbühne". Der Standard (in German). 20 March 2019. Archived from the original on 5 December 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  41. ^ Madlener, Bernhard (25 March 2006). "Eine Aschenputtel-Karriere". Der Standard (in German). Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  42. ^ "Sopranistin Edita Gruberová ist tot". Der Spiegel (in German). 18 October 2021. Archived from the original on 18 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  43. ^ "Starsopranistin Edita Gruberova gestorben". Kurier (in German). 18 October 2021. Archived from the original on 18 October 2021. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  44. ^ Tošić, Ljubiša (18 October 2021). "Starsopranistin Edita Gruberová gestorben". Der Standard (in German). Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  45. ^ Korentschnig, Gert (18 October 2021). "Starsopranistin Edita Gruberova: Die Königin in der ewigen Nacht". kurier.at (in German). Archived from the original on 18 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.(subscription required)
  46. ^ "Edita Gruberová (Soprano)". Bach Cantatas Website. 2001. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  47. ^ "Helmut Winschermann & Deutsche Bachsolisten / Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works". Bach Cantatas Website. 2013. Archived from the original on 21 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  48. ^ "Christian Gerhaher ist Bayerischer Kammersänger". stmwk.bayern.de (in German). Munich: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst. 24 July 2015. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  49. ^ Edita Gruberova ausgezeichnet Archived 30 November 2020 at the Wayback Machine (image) In: Rathauskorrespondenz, 27 May 2009
  50. ^ "Edita Gruberova erhält Herbert von Karajan-Preis". oe24.at (in German). 7 March 2013. Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  51. ^ Verleihung des 2. Österreichischen Musiktheaterpreises am 17. Juni 2014 (in German) Musiktheaterpreis, retrieved 4 April 2015
  52. ^ Eröffnungsprogramm der Richard-Strauss-Festivals 2016 (in German) Richard-Strauss-Festival, retrieved 6 April 2018
  53. ^ "The ICMA winners 2021 are published – ICMA". ICMA. Archived from the original on 10 April 2021. Retrieved 19 October 2021.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]