Death of a major Czech soprano, 87

Death of a major Czech soprano, 87


norman lebrecht

January 15, 2020

The international singer Naděžda Kniplová joined the Brno Opera ensemble in 1959 for the best training in Leoš Janáček’s opera.

Moving on to Prague in 1965 she made an acclaimed debut as Ortrud in Lohengrin and remained with the company for two decades as its first-choice Isolde, Eva and Kundry.

Abroad, she sang Brünnhilde in Salzburg in 1967 under Herbert von Karajan and went on to perform in major European houses, San Francisco and Toronto.

She refused a lifetime award from the Czech state in 2010, saying it should have come much sooner.



  • Guus Mostart says:

    She was a regular guest at Netherlands Opera in the 1970s. A majestic powerful voice. Her hair-raising Kostelnička under Bohumil Gregor remains truly unforgettable. It was a privilege to have worked with her.

  • JB says:

    Agree – a wonderful Kostelnicka whose memory is impossible to erase when listening to others in the role.

    But excellent in many other roles, including Katerina in Martinu’s Greek Passion.