5 January 1848 Prague – 28 January 1933 Prague
Adolf Krössing as Vašek
His mother was French, his father was a German speaker, and he grew up in a German milieu. As
soon as he quit his law studies and took voice lessons instead, however, he also switched from the German to the Czech speaking
part of bilingual Prague's society – and became an entirely Czech tenor. Already while still studying, he sang at a small
theater in Prague as well as in Plzeň, and as early as December 1870, he was hired by the Provisional Czech National
Theater. He made his debut as Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia, but his below-average voice and comical talent predestined him to be a
comprimario. In the following 44 seasons (until his 1914 retirement, that is), he sang almost 300 mostly small parts in more
than 4000 performances at the National Theater; sometimes, he even appeared in ballet!! And
even after retiring, he came occasionally back as a guest; his very few recordings were made in 1907 – and in 1930, i.e.
at age 82! His most famous role was Vašek in Prodaná nevěsta, he sang it 600 times from 1871 to 1923. He
participated in a lot of world premieres:
Tajemství (1878) and Čertova štena (1882) by Smetana, Šelma sedlák (1878),
Jakobín (1889), Rusalka (1901) and Armida (1904), all by Dvořák. After 1890, he was
also a stage director; he was a voice teacher, and he acted in five silent films.
Reference 1: Kutsch & Riemens; reference
2, reference 3
I wish to thank Lynn Samohel for the picture and Michal Pekárek for the recording.