Miloslav Jeník

12 September 1884 Tochovice – 30 October 1944 Prague

Picture of Miroslav Jenik as Duca
Miloslav Jeník as Duca

Miloslav Jeník sings Faust: Salut, demeure, in Czech
In RA format

Miloslav Jeník sings V studni: Chce vidět v studni tvář
In RA format

Miloslav (you'll also read "Miroslav", although that's wrong) Jeník was a successful sportsman. Today, he would be a pro; since that was unheard of at his time, he worked as a bank clerk while being a soccer goalkeeper for ČAFC Královské Vinohrady (until 1905), then for the famous sports club Slavia Praha; twice, he even played for the Czech national team. In winter, he would double as the goalkeeper of Slavia Praha's ice hockey team, and with that team, he was Czech national champion in 1909.

After concluding that career in 1910, he briefly studied voice, and made his tenor debut in 1911 in Smichov. From 1914, he sang at the National Theater in Prague (appropriate debut role: Jeník in Prodaná nevěsta). He would stay until 1942, first as a permanent guest, from 1919 (after fighting WWI as an officer) as a regular member. For a long time, he specialized in lyrical roles like Lenskij, Faust, Don Ottavio and, again and again, Jeník (which he sang in 154 performances at the National Theater). In 1932, he switched to heavier parts, such as Siegfried and Otello. All in all, he appeared in 120 roles and on more than 2000 evenings at the National Theater. He was highly appreciated not only as a singer, but also as a particularly nice and modest person, and a helpful and always fair colleague.

Reference 1, reference 2, reference 3, reference 4, reference 5

I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the picture, recordings and some of the biographical information.

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