Sadness: Vienna’s last Golden Age star dies at 101

Sadness: Vienna’s last Golden Age star dies at 101


norman lebrecht

February 22, 2019

We deeply regret to report the death of Hilde Zadek, who passed away yesterday in Karlsruhe at an immense age.

Hilde was a member of the golden post-War generation at the Vienna Opera, but she was always much more than just a wonderful soprano.

Born to Jewish parents in Bromberg, she fled to Palestine in 1935 and studied in Jerusalem with Josef
Grünthal and Rose Pauly.

Returning to Europe, she made her Vienna debut as Aida, no less, on February 3, 1947 at the Theater an der Wien. From then until her retirement in 1971 she sang 39 roles at the Staatsoper in 760 performances.

As well as being Jewish in post-Nazi Vienna, she attracted further stigma for sharing her life with female partners. Yet her personality was always sunny and she gave the impression of enjoying every day of her long life to the fullest.


  • Caravaggio says:

    May she rest in eternal peace

  • Zacharias Galaviz Guerra says:

    May Frau Zadek rest. With heavy hearts we must come to terms the Staatsoper is not what it used to be… hopefully it can be revived one day soon, to truly be again the beacon of art it represents.

  • Fred says:

    Zadek never studied with Josef Grunthal who is of course more well-known as JosefTal the composer. But nobody seems to realize that here. Tal accompanied her as a pianist. She never studied singing technique with Rose Pauly either. Pauly coached her especially in Tosca. Later she studied with Ria Ginster

  • Bruce says:

    RIP to a great artist and example of the strength of the human spirit.

  • Jamesay says:

    Extraordinary! How fabulous! RIP

  • Robert von Bahr says:

    WOW! What a voice! When was the Verdi requiem recorded?