World-famous Slovak opera singer dies at age 74

Edita Gruberová performed on opera stages across the world.

Edita GruberováEdita Gruberová (Source: TASR)

Slovak opera singer Edita Gruberová died on October 18 in Zürich, Switzerland, at the age of 74.

During her almost 50-year career, she performed on opera stages in several countries, including Austria and Germany. She also performed in the famous Milan La Scala, the Royal Opera House in London, the New York Metropolitan Opera, and the Opera in Paris.

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“Her voice remains in us forever,” President Zuzana Čaputová wrote on her Facebook.

The president added that Edita Gruberová uncovered the enchantment of songs and aria for 50 years.

“She used to say that her destiny is to serve the geniuses - Mozart, Bellini, Schubert and Donizetti,” the president wrote. “Thank you for Queen of the Night, for Zerbinetta, for Norma.”

Culture Minister Natália Milanová (OĽaNO) also paid tribute to the deceased Gruberová. "Only a few months ago, I applauded her on the stage of the Astorka Korzo ‘90 Theatre and presented her the Minister of Culture Award for her extraordinary lifelong contribution to Slovak and world culture and art. Her unrivaled soprano sounded where she went today. To heaven, where her star will shine forever. Rest in peace," Milanová wrote on Facebook.

From our archive The world-famous Slovak opera diva has ended her career Read more 

To the world

Edita Gruberová was born on December 23, 1946, in Bratislava, starting her career in Banská Bystrica.

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One of her first performances was one of the top European stages at the Vienna State Opera in 1970 where she played the role of Queen's Night in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Magic Flute. Four years later, she also performed in this role for the first time at the Bavarian State Opera.

Shortly after her successful performance in Vienna, she gained a permanent spot but initially sang rather minor roles.

The soprano's demanding role in Richard Strauss's opera Ariadne Auf Naxos in 1976 paved her way to international recognition and world fame. Gruberová soon received invitations and engagements from the New York Metropolitan Opera, La Scala in Milan, Covent Garden in London, the Paris National Opera and the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.

Gruberová has performed on all major world opera stages with the world's most important conductors and orchestras. In the field of opera bel canto, she developed into one of the masters of the artistic renaissance of the old authors of the Italian school. With her precise and inspiring performances, she brought this work to a new heyday.

Awards for her artistic career

She has received several awards for her art. In 1980, she was given the Austrian title Österreichischer Kammersänger; eight years later she became an honourable member of the Vienna State Opera.

Gruberová is also the holder of the Order of the White Double Cross II. class (1997). In 2013, she received the prestigious Herbert von Karajan Music Prize in Baden-Baden, Germany.

In November 2016, the opera diva became the laureate of the Tatra Banka Foundation Award for Art in the Music category for a solo recital at the Prague Proms 2016 international festival. The then foreign affairs minister Miroslav Lajčák awarded her the Golden Plaque on December 17, 2016, in Vienna. Shortly before the artist's 70th birthday, he highlighted her lifelong exceptional artistic contribution and how she represented Slovakia abroad. Opera singer Edita Gruberová also found herself among the laureates of the Personality Award in Bratislava 2018.

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