Otakar Mařák

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Otakar Mařák (5 January 1872 Esztergom, Hungary – 2 July 1939 Prague) was a tenor Czech opera singer, and a nephew of Julius Mařák who perfected his vocal skills at Prague's School of Applied Arts as well as at the Czech Academy of Arts. At the same time he studied singing privately.

Otakar Mařák
Otakar Mařák circa 1919.jpg
Mařák circa 1919
Background information
Born (1872-01-05)5 January 1872
Austria-Hungary Esztergom, Austria-Hungary
Died 2 July 1939(1939-07-02) (aged 67)
Flag of Bohmen und Mahren.svg Prague, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Genres Opera
Occupation(s) Singer (Tenor)
Years active 1899–1934

Biography[edit]

He was born on 5 January 1872 in Esztergom, Hungary.

Mařák made his debut in the title role of Charles Gounod's opera Faust on 1 February 1899 in Brno, Czech Republic. In the same year he was engaged by the National Theatre in Prague. From 1901, he performed abroad. He was a regular member of the National Theatre between 1899–1901 and again in 1903–1907. Thereafter he sang on this first Czech stage as a permanent guest.[clarification needed] In 1907 he left for Paris, where he continued to school his voice then in 1908–1918 performed at London's Covent Garden and Berlin's Komische Oper. Following World War I, Mařák became an American citizen and went on to teach in the country between 1934–1937. A brain seizure in 1937 forced his to return to Prague where he died two years later. He especially excelled in Smetana parts such as Jeník in The Bartered Bride, Dalibor, Ladislav Podhajský in The Two Widows, Lucas in The Kiss as well as in traditional world repertory which saw Mařák play Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Massenet's Werther, Cavaradossi in Tosca and Alfred Germont in La Traviata. He often took on the role of Don José in Bizet's Carmen.

He died on 2 July 1939 in Prague.

Legacy[edit]

Together with Emmy Destinn and Karel Burian, Mařák completed the trio of well-known early 20th century Czech singers.

References[edit]

This article is based on a translation of the article Otakar Mařák in the Czech Wikipedia