Ivo Žídek

4 June 1926 Kravaře – 20 May 2003 Prague

Ivo Žídek as Jeník

Ivo Žídek as Števa

Ivo Žídek sings Evgenij Onegin: Kde jste, kde jste
In RA format

Ivo Žídek sings Dvě vdovy: Když zavítá máj
In RA format

Ivo Žídek as Don Carlo

Ivo Žídek sings Carmen: La fleur que tu m'avais jetée, in Czech

He wanted to study painting, but all the Czech art colleges were closed under the Nazi occupation, and so he studied chant instead in Ostrava, where he also made his debut as early as 1945, at 19 years old. He stayed until 1948, then he was engaged by the National Theater in Prague, where he had already been a guest in 1947. He was to stay for the rest of his career, until 1991 – the last two years also as the National Theater's manager, elected after the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

Žídek toured a lot abroad, above all as a regular guest at the State Operas of Vienna (1956–59) and Berlin (1956–68), but also in Stuttgart, Monte Carlo, Buenos Aires, London and Barcelona, for instance.

His repertory was wide: Jeník (the role of his life), Prince in Dvořák's Rusalka, Gounod's Faust, Werther, Don José Don Ottavio, Don Carlo, Florestan, Max, Dalibor, Lohengrin, Lenskij, both Dmitrij and the Simpleton, Calaf, Alfredo... But for all his dramatic roles, he essentially remained a lyrical tenor. (Maybe his pushing and shouting was caused by the fact that he had so many totally unsuitable roles in his repertory.)

Reference 1, reference 2

I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the pictures (top four), the recordings (Dvě vdovy, Evgenij Onegin) and some biographical information.
I wish to thank Michal Pekárek for the picture (Don Carlo) and recording (Carmen).

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