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Article

Amra Bosnić

(b Kuršumlija, Serbia, 1966). Bosnian and Herzegovinian composer. She graduated with a degree in composition from the Academy of Music in Sarajevo (1991), in the class of josip magdić, after which she gained the Master of Composition (2004) under the mentorship of composer dejan despić. Her first position was at the Srednja muzička škola (‘music high school’) in Valjevo, Serbia (1992–2000). She returned to Eastern Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to work as an Associate Professor of Harmony and Harmonic Analysis.

Dutina’s compositions reflect her interest in Balkan folklore, mostly of a rural-vocal type, and in the formal and harmonic devices associated with neoclassicism. She has composed solo songs, chamber music, symphonic works, vocal-instrumental music, choral music, music for children, and film music.

Dutina also cherishes folkloric vocal traditions through her engagement as founder and artistic director of the female vocal ensembles Rusalke (...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Sydney, Feb 8, 1943; d Oct 10, 2021). Australian baritone. He studied in Sydney, where he made his début in 1966, and then in London before joining Scottish Opera (1972), with which he sang Count Almaviva, Malatesta, the Music-Master (Ariadne auf Naxos), James Stewart (Musgrave’s ...

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The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993 directed by HENRY SELICK and On the set, Tim Burton with Danny Elfman, composer (photo)

Photo © DILTZ/Bridgeman Images

Article

Karel Steinmetz and Geoffrey Chew

(b Plzeň [Pilsen], July 14, 1939; d Prague, Oct 1, 2019). Czech pop singer, actor, and painter. The best-known and most successful Czech pop singer of the 20th and 21st centuries. In his youth Gott aspired to become a painter, and after completing his schooling in Plzeň, he applied to study art in Prague. After failing to be admitted, he trained as an electrician, and during his training devoted himself also to singing. He began by studying as an opera singer (lyric tenor) with Konstantin Karenin, a pupil of Chaliapin, at first at the Prague Conservatoire and later privately. In 1962 he was engaged at the Semafor Theatre in Prague of Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr, where he achieved great success singing the songs of Suchý and Šlitr; in 1963 he won the Zlatý slavík (‘Golden Nightingale’) poll for the first time, with the hit Oči má sněhem zaváté...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Berlin, Aug 10, 1931; d Vienna, April 21, 2022). German soprano. She studied with Maria Ivogün in Vienna, where she made her début in 1957 in operetta. Engaged at the Volksoper and later the Staatsoper, she appeared there for over 20 years. At Salzburg (1961–3) she sang Blonde and Papagena. Her repertory included Zerlina, Despina, Marzelline, Norina, Mařenka, Sophie, Isotta (...

Article

Alan Blyth

(b Southport, Jan 12, 1941; d Andover, May 18, 2022). English mezzo-soprano. She studied at the RMCM, singing Helen in the British première of Gluck’s Paride ed Elena (1963) while a student. She made her professional début in 1966 as Flora (La traviata) with the WNO. At Glyndebourne (1966–89), she created Cathleen in Maw’s Rising of the Moon (1970) and also sang Erisbe (Ormindo), Dorabella, the Composer, Diana (Calisto), Clairon, and Baba the Turk. She made her Covent Garden début in 1967 as Flora, created Lena in Bennett’s Victory (1970), and sang Hermia, Rosina, Cherubino, Siébel, Mélisande, Helen (King Priam), Olga, Thea (The Knot Garden), Despina, and Clairon (1991). She made her Chicago (1972), Metropolitan (1975), and San Francisco (1979) débuts as Dorabella. At Geneva she sang Octavian, Idamantes, Régine in the première of Liebermann’s ...

Article

Martin Bernheimer

(b Detroit, March 18, 1929; d Stamford, CT, May 7, 2020). American bass. He served in the US Air Force before studying with Avery Crew and Boris Goldovsky. After appearances in New Orleans and Santa Fe, he joined the New York City Opera in 1959 and moved to the Metropolitan Opera in ...

Article

Nicola Scaldaferri

[Gjergji, Ludovik Ndoj]

(b Shkodër, Albania, 11 Nov 1923; d Shkodër, 27 Dec 2015). Albanian singer. His name is linked in particular to the musical repertoire of Ahengu and Kânge Jare, songs in which Ottoman musical roots blend with Western influences.

Born into a family from the Mirdita region, from childhood he was interested in the urban song of Shkodër. Between 1945 and 1947, in Tirana, he came to the fore as a performer with the ensemble Grupi Karakteristik Shkodran directed by Paulin Pali. In 1947 he took part in the performance of Dasma shkodrane, by Prenkë Jakova, an important pioneer of Albanian musical theatre.

In the early 1950s Bik Ndoja emerged in the musical milieu of Shkodra by singing on the radio, in the House of Culture, and at the Perlat Rexhepi musical club.

During the years of the dictatorship, he continued to live in Shkodra and worked as a tailor, though his renown as a singer grew steadily, thanks to his activity at Radio Shkodra and Radio Tirana, and at the local ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Kiel, March 7, 1929; d La Palma, Canada, May 11, 2020). German baritone. After studying in Vienna, he was engaged in 1954 at the Theater am Gärtnerplatz, Munich, first as a tenor, then as a baritone. In 1964 he moved to Cologne, where he remained for over 25 years; he took part in the première of Die Soldaten (1965) and with the company sang the Secretary in the first London performance of Der junge Lord at Sadler’s Wells (1969). His huge and varied repertory included Almaviva, Guglielmo and Don Alfonso, Rossini’s Figaro, Billy Budd, Monteverdi’s Ulysses, and many operetta roles. In 1979 he sang Count Robinson (Il matrimonio segreto) at Cologne, repeating the part at Edinburgh (1980), Sadler’s Wells (1983), Schwetzingen, and Washington, DC (1986). A superb character actor, he had a light but serviceable voice....

Article

Karel Steinmetz

(b Ostrava, 7 June 1953). Czech folk singer, poet, and composer. After completing his studies at Gymnasium (1971) and at a school of librarianship, he entered the field of popular music as a writer of lyrics (he has written song texts principally for singers from Ostrava). As a guitarist, violinist, flautist, and accordionist he is entirely self-taught. In the 1980s he began to appear at Czech festivals of folk music, singing songs of his own with their distinctive texts. Gradually he has become one of the most popular of Czech singers. He mainly sings his own songs, but also translations of songs by the Russian composers Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzha, and settings of the poems of Aleksandr Blok. He has set, and sung, poems by the Czech poets Petr Bezruč and Jiří Šotola. His songs owe their popularity largely to the fact that he sings of ordinary people living ordinary lives; they are lyrical and epic, and often ironical and extremely funny. Nohavica is fond of using the dialect of the Ostrava and Těšín region. He has also produced successful translations of opera libretti for works performed at the Ostrava Opera (for example, Mozart’s ...

Article

Michael Fleming and Elizabeth Forbes

(b New York, Aug 16, 1952; d Chicago, June 20, 2021). American soprano. She studied at the Curtis Institute. In 1975, three days before her scheduled début at the New York City Opera as Zerbinetta, she replaced an ailing soprano as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann. Appearing at first as a comic coloratura, she increasingly took on more dramatic roles such as Gilda, Lucia (1986, San Francisco), the Queen of Night, and Handel’s Cleopatra (with the ENO in Geneva, 1983) and moved into many of the roles once sung at the City Opera by Beverly Sills. She made her Metropolitan début in 1979 as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, returning as Olympia and Zerbinetta; in the latter role she made her European début at Glyndebourne (1981), where she later sang Susanna, Zdenka, and Konstanze. Her roles also included Philine (Mignon). She sang Bianca in the North American première of ...

Article

Kelley Rourke

(b Madison, WI, June 3, 1960). American soprano. She has done her most important work at the extremes of the opera timeline, winning acclaim for interpretations of both early and contemporary repertory. In 1988 she played the roles of Poppea, Fortune, and Minerva in Stephen Wadsworth’s Monteverdi cycle at Skylight Comic Opera. She went on to appear in works by Monteverdi, Cavalli, and Handel in venues around the world, including Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera (Cooperstown, NY), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona, Spain), and the International Handel Festival (Göttingen, Germany). Saffer has collaborated frequently with the composer and conductor Oliver Knussen, beginning with performances of Hans Werner Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers in 1988 at Tanglewood. She has been celebrated for her interpretation of Marie in Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, a role she has performed at Opéra Bastille, New York City Opera, and the English National Opera. As the title character in Alban Berg’s ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Cleveland, Oct 5, 1935; d New York, April 17, 2020). American soprano. After studying in Cleveland and Milan, she made her début in 1961 as Mimì at the Teatro Nuovo, Milan, and appeared with the New York City Opera. Engaged at the Hamburg Staatsoper from 1964, she sang in the première of Klebe’s Jacobowsky und der Oberst (1965). In 1966 she sang Pamina at Glyndebourne, and the following year made her first appearances at San Francisco as Louise and Gounod’s Marguerite. She created Mme Euterpova in Menotti’s Help, Help, the Globolinks! at Hamburg (1968) and the title role in Ginastera’s Beatrix Cenci at Washington (1971). She made her Metropolitan début as Eva in 1971. In Boston she sang Natasha (Prokofiev’s War and Peace, 1974) and Nadia (Tippett’s The Ice Break, 1979). She made her Covent Garden début as Minnie (...

Article

Karel Steinmetz

(b Vsetín, Moravia, 27 June 1929; d Vsetín, 11 Feb 2017). Czech folk singer. Trained in dressmaking, she worked between 1945 and 1949 as a furrier’s seamstress. From 1950 until her retirement in 1985, she was the manager of a shop selling gramophone records in her native town. Her musical talent, inherited from her parents, was evident from her youth, when she began to appear as a singer in local choirs and folk ensembles. From 1952 she was a soloist with the Brněnský rozhlasový orchestr lidových nástrojů (BROLN, ‘Brno Radio Orchestra of Folk Instruments’), with whom she performed hundreds of times in the then Czechoslovakia and also abroad (in Vietnam, China, Mongolia, the USSR, Korea, Cuba, Belgium, the UK, Senegal, Bulgaria, Romania, Japan, the USA, Canada, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, and Denmark). She also performed with various folk ensembles (Vsacan, Jasénka, Kyčera, and the dulcimer ensemble Technik, whose leader, Jan Rokyta, decisively influenced her later development as a singer), and between ...

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Boskovice, 19 Jan 1984).Czech composer and performer (voice, accordion, and tap dance). She studied the accordion (2004–10) and composition (2007–8) at the Brno Conservatory, and composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (with martin smolka and Peter Graham[1]). She also studied as an exchange student at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the California Institute of the Arts (with michael pisaro), the Universität der Künste Berlin (with Marc Sabat), and Columbia University (with george e. lewis).

While she often works with elements outside of music, there is almost always an intense engagement with direct listening, often arrived at through intense focus on very limited material. Sources for her work include Morse code, maps of garments which she turns into scores (Shirt for Harp, Oboe, and Accordion; Jacket for Ensemble), field recordings which she notates descriptively and then asks musicians to interpret the notation (...

Article

Karel Steinmetz

[Plekancová-Vondráčková, Lucie]

(b Prague, 8 March 1980). Czech pop singer and actress. Her family was one of musicians (her father, Jiří Vondráček, is an actor and singer, her mother, Hana Sorrosová-Vondráčková, writes lyrics, and her aunt, Helena Vondráčková, is also a singer). Lucie was trained in music and drama at the Prague Conservatory and later obtained the doctorate in the Arts Faculty at Prague University (2006). From early childhood she appeared in films and TV serials for children; in 1992 she became a presenter of children’s programmes on TV, and in 1993 she issued her first record album. There have been more than 10 of these, and all have been enthusiastically received by her public in sales; she regularly features as one of the most popular Czech singers. As an actress, she often plays major roles in Czech films, stage plays, and musicals.

Article

Pavla Jonssonová

(‘Tooth and Nail’)

Czech rock group. Formed by university students in Prague in 1980 as Plyn (‘Gas’), with Marka Horáková (Míková; b 1959; piano, bass, vocals), Pavla Fediuková (Slabá, Jonssonová; b 1961; guitar, vocals), and Hana Kubíčková (Řepová; b 1961; drums, vocals). All of the members contributed songs in a punk, girl-band, dadaist fashion, playing college clubs and alternative music festivals. After Plyn was blacklisted, they re-formed under a new name as Dybbuk, and were joined by Kateřina Nejepsová (Jirčíková; b 1963) on the flute and saxophone, and Eva Trnková (b 1963) on the lead guitar. Their eponymous EP (Panton, 1987) was released during the communist era. Dybbuk disbanded in 1987.

In 1988 Míková started Zuby nehty with Slabá on the bass, Naďa Bilincová (1959−2011) on the guitar, and Tomáš Míka (b 1960) on the saxophone. In 1991 Dybbuk reunited to record their 1980s material on the album ...