International soprano Naděžda Kniplová has died at the age of 87.
Naděžda Kniplová was born in Ostrava to a musical family and began her vocal training from her father and later went on to study under Jarmila Vavrdová at the Prague Conservatory from 1947 to 1953. After conservatory she went on to make her professional opera debut in 1957 at the opera house in Ústí nad Labem in the title role of Smetana’s “Libuše” in 1957. She performed at the Semperoper in Dresden in a production of “Aida” that garnered her attention and acclaim which eventually led her to become a principal soprano at the Prague National Theatre in 1965 where her first role was Ortrud in Wagner’s “Lohengrin.”
She went on to sing Anežka in “The Two Widows,” Brünnhilde in Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” Eva in “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” Isolde in “Tristan und Isolde,” Kundry in “Parsifal,” Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s “Macbeth,” Leonora in Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” Milada in Smetana’s “Dalibor,” Senta in Wagner’s “Der fliegende Holländer,” and the title roles in Janáček’s “Káťa Kabanová,” Fibich’s “Šárka,” and Puccini’s “Tosca” and “Turandot.”
Kniplová would later make debuts at the Berlin State Opera, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Teatro Regio di Torino, the San Francisco Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Hamburg State Opera.
When Kniplová retired from the stage, the soprano served on the voice faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Her legacy will live on through a number of recordings for Decca and Supraphon including “Libuše” and “Götterdämmerung.”