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Opera repertoire

Ivan Kusnjer

Dubbed the King of Czech Singers by Czech music critics, Ivan Kusnjer (born 1951) is justly acknowledged as the leading baritone in the Czech Republic today

domain baritone,

Ivan KusnjerDubbed the King of Czech Singers by Czech music critics, Ivan Kusnjer (born 1951) is justly acknowledged as the leading baritone in the Czech Republic today. His most recent appearances in the role of Forester in Janek\'s opera The Cunning Little Vixen - include performances at the Teatro Real in Madrid, La Fenice in Venice and at the Sao Carlos Theatre in Lisbon; recently he has performed Verdi\'s Macbeth with the Prague National Theatre Opera. He is reknown as one of the greatest interpreters of Orff\'s Carmina Burana which, in addition to his 5 recordings for 5 different recording labels, he has performed in concert all over the world.

Ivan KusnjerIvan Kusnjer\'s international career has natu-rally ushered into his repertoire a gallery of roles in such major works as The Barber of Seville, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Bohème, Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades, I Pagliacci, as well as the less frequently performed The Duenna by Prokofiev or The Tacit Woman by Richard Strauss. Moreover, his astounding musicality enables him to demonstrate his affinity for contemporary music in interpretations of works by Eben, Brod, Krsa and Zemlinsky.

Ivan KusnjerFrom his extensive repertoire (embracing over 40 operatic parts, 30 cantatas and oratorios and 20 song cycles), his personal preferences are quite clear: Verdi (Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Don Carlos, Falstaff, Simon Boccanegra, Otello, A Masked Ball, The Force of Destiny, Rigoletto, Macbeth); Czech composers Martin, Janek, Smetana and Dvok; and he holds a particular reverence for the works of Gustav Mahler. Many of his renditions have been released on 34 recordings of the Decca, Chandos, Orfeo, Naxos, Supraphon and Panton labels, several of them under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras and Gerd Albrecht. Kusnjer has recorded a significant portion of Dvok\'s and Smetana\'s operas and all of Janek\'s and Dvok\'s Lieder.

Ivan Kusnjer has been awarded many prestigious awards from inter-national singing competitions (Geneva, Sofia, Vercelli) to the important domestic Thalia Prize which he was first awarded in 1994 for his performance in Leoncavallo\'s I Pagliacci, Ivan Kusnjersecond time in 1998 for his Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies, and most recently in 2001 for his performance in Smetana\'s The Devil\'s Wall. Ivan Kusnjer was awarded the European Gustav Mahler Prize in 2001, too.

Ivan Kusnjer\'s artistry has been witnessed by audiences in a vast number of opera houses and concert halls throughout America, Europe, the Middle and Far East, including such venues as New York Carnegie Hall, Milan La Scala, Venice La Fenice, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opra Comique and Chtelet, Brussel Opra de la Monnaie, Berlin State Opera, Frankfurt Opera, London Royal Albert Hall, Madrid Teatro Real, Lisbon Sao Carlos, Hong-Kong Opera and Tokyo Santory Hall. In addition to his activities all over the world, Ivan Kusnjer regularly appears as one of the leading soloists with both the Prague National Theatre (Czech Opera Ensemble Number One) and the Prague State Opera.