INTERNATIONALLY renowned Slovak soprano Gabriela Beňačková has been named the new director of the Slovak National Theatre (SND) Opera.She replaces conductor Oliver Dohnányi, who stepped down after just a year in the job, SND spokesperson Zuzana Golianová announced onJuly 8.
Beňačková is the opera's third director in the two years since SND General Director
Silvia Hroncová took over. Dohnányi was preceded by soloist Peter Mikuláš, who led the opera for less than a year.
The SND said that Dohnányi's extensive list of professional commitments abroad was one of the reasons for his departure.
By contrast, Beňačková, who turned 61 in March, left the opera five years ago due to family reasons, the ČTK newswire wrote.
She was a regular at the SND Opera until March 1974, and has since performed at opera houses in Vienna, Milan, Moscow, Barcelona, and New York. She returned to Bratislava for a one–off performance on April 14, 2007, to mark the opening of the new SND building at the Danube embankment.
Her other recent performances include Rusalka at the State Opera Košice, at the beginning of this year, and standing ovations in the Czech town of Litomyšl for the premiere of Mojžíš, an oratorio by Sylvie Bodorová, in early June.
“I feel very honoured to have been selected,” Beňačková said. “I am a Bratislavan, I spent my childhood and studies here. My voice sent me around the whole world, so it is delightful to return after so many years in a different position than an opera soloist.”
21. Jul 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports