Jaroslav Gleich

Picture of Jaroslav Gleich as Števa
Jaroslav Gleich as Steva

Picture of Jaroslav Gleich

Picture of Jaroslav Gleich

Jaroslav Gleich sings Tosca: E lucevan le stelle, in Czech
In RA format

Picture of Jaroslav Gleich

Picture of Jaroslav Gleich in Mignon
Jaroslav Gleich in Mignon

Jaroslav Gleich sings Prodaná nevěsta: Ma... ma... ma... matička
In RA format

Jaroslav Gleich was born on March 19th, 1900 in Hodonín (Moravia). Gleich studied singing with Hilbert Vávra, and perfected his vocal training with Egon Fuchs. He made his debut in Prague as Calaf in the Prague premiere of Turandot on September 4th, 1927. The singer became famous in the world premiere of Julietta (by Martinů) in 1938. Gleich died in Prague on September 28th, 1976.

I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the biographical notes, recordings and pictures (top three).

Reminiscences on Jaroslav Gleich

Tenor Jaroslav Gleich was born on March 19th, 1900. After he finished his pharmaceutical studies in 1922, he started to study singing with Hilbert Vavra and later with Manlio Bavagnoli in Milan. He was accepted to the Prague conservatory and graduated in 1928, in the class of Egon Fuchs. He made his debut at the National Theatre of Prague in 1927 and soon became a member of that company. What is remembered as his biggest achievements are roles such as Vašek (in Prodaná nevěsta, where he excelled not only with perfect singing technique, but also with a different conception of the role of the stuttering village boy), Alfredo, Don Carlo, Duca, Rodolfo, Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, Lohengrin, Tamino, Jaquino, Hoffmann, Oberon etc. Somehow, maybe because he had been studying in Italy, he preferred the Italian operatic repertoire. But he was nevertheless excellent in Czech roles such as Jeník, Junoš in Braniboři v Čechách, Lukáš in Hubička, Jiří in Jakobín, Števa, Kudrjáš in Káťa Kabanová. Jaroslav Gleich was not only a natural first class tenor, but also a good actor. On March 16th, 1938, he sang the role of Michel in the premiere of Martin&uring's Julietta with Ota Horáková in the title role. That performance was hailed by a wide public as the best contemporary opera performance ever at the National Theatre in Prague. He was a member of National Theatre till 1962. On March 11th, 1966, Jaroslav Gleich became 'Artist of the People', one of the highest titles one could get in the ČSSR. When he retired, he concentrated on helping and teaching young aspiring singers to start their careers. He died in Prague on September 28th, 1976.
(As he always used to say to some of us pupils, not only to me: "Hopeless, but improving fast." Despite the fact that he was getting older, he was always there, always where we needed him to be, with his soothing talk, his humor before our school performances. His was like "What is the problem? I prepared you well, there is nothing that can go wrong, except your voice, and you have it, or not?" And he was laughing. By then we lost most of our fear.)

Lynn Samohel

I wish to thank Lynn Samohel for the additional information and the pictures (bottom two).

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