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Gabriela Beňačková at the Met gala, 1996
|Born||25 March 1947|
|Occupation(s)||Opera singer (soprano)|
Beňačková specializes in the music of her Slovak compatriots, particularly Eugen Suchoň, as well as Czech composers, notably Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák and Leoš Janáček. She is considered to be one of the greatest 'Jenůfa's' in Janáček's opera of the same name. Her Carnegie Hall performance, and subsequent Metropolitan Opera run with Leonie Rysanek, are considered to be legendary.
In 1981, Czechoslovakian television starred Ms Beňačková in a definitive version of Prodaná nevěsta (The Bartered Bride) by Bedřich Smetana, which has since become a popular DVD recording available in an all-regions format (2006). That recording teamed her with the heroic tenor (fellow Slovak) Peter Dvorský as Jeník, and with bass Richard Novák as Kecal, and other popular singers. She completed her farewell recital tour in 2008.
She has made a number of recordings, and has appeared in several filmed operas on DVD, as well as the feature film The Divine Emma, where she supplied the singing voice of the famous Czech soprano Emmy Destinn. Her voice can also be heard in the movie Driving Miss Daisy singing title role in Rusalka by Antonín Dvořák, and in Copycat singing Puccini's aria Vissi d'arte from the opera Tosca by Giacomo Puccini.
She appeared as Marguerite in the Vienna State Opera's production of Charles Gounod's Faust (1985), as well as Fidelio/Leonore in the Royal Opera House production of Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven (1991). In 2012, she sang the difficult role of the Comtesse de la Roche, in Die Soldaten, at the Salzburg Festival, a production now on DVD.
- Leoš Janáček: Jenůfa Gabriela Beňačková with Naděžda Kniplová, Vilém Přibyl, Vladimír Krejčík, Janáček Theatre in Brno, orchestra and chorus conducted by František Jílek (1977–1978) Supraphon CD SU 3869-2.
- Smetana - The Bartered Bride Gabriela Beňačková with Peter Dvorský (Jeník), Richard Novák (Kecal), Miroslav Kopp, Marie Veselá, Czech Philharmonic conducted by Zdeněk Košler, Supraphon DVD.
- Gabriela Beňačková From the Heart: Mikuláš Schneider-Trnavský Songs about Mother: If Only They Knew; Mother; If I Knew; Little Flower: Far and Wide; The Nightingale; A Lovely Dream; Student Period Songs: The Settler; The Bowed Rose; Your Shy Eyes; The Girl Is Being Married; From My Heart: The Withering Tree; The Cuckoo; Roses.
- Hurwitz, David (19 July 2003). "Review of Rusalka recording". ClassicsToday. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Levine, Robert (18 February 2003). "Review of The Bartered Bride recording". ClassicsToday. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Forsling, Göran. "Review (no sung texts or translations)". MusicWeb International.
- Gabriela Beňačková on IMDb
- Gabriela Beňačková on ArcoDiva management
- "Review of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 concert recording". Retrieved 21 January 2010.