Hilde Zadek

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Hildegard Zadek (born December 15, 1917 in Bromberg , Province of Posen ; † February 21, 2019 in Karlsruhe ) was a German-Austrian opera, operetta, lied and concert singer with a soprano voice . Most recently she worked as a singing teacher and taught in Karlsruhe and Vienna .

Live and act

Hilde Zadek spent her youth in Stettin . In 1935 she left Germany because of the National Socialist persecution to which she was exposed because of her Jewish origins and emigrated to Palestine. There she completed training as an infant nurse and worked a. a. at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. In 1939 her parents also fled, their father had already been in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, and her two younger sisters to Palestine, for whose immigration she had worked tirelessly. With the money she had earned in her parents' shoe shop, the young woman was able to study singing at the Jerusalem Conservatory with the Hungarian opera singer Rose Pauly . She graduated with distinction in 1945. During a scholarship stay in Zurich in 1945, where she took lessons from the song and concert singer Ria Ginster , Hilde Zadek was discovered by the director of the Vienna State Opera Franz Salmhofer . After hearing her sing in the apartment of his goddaughter, he invited her to “introduce herself to engagement”. It was not until early 1947 that Hilde Zadek could enter Austria. There she worked with Elisabeth Höngen to perfect her voice and her repertoire. Although her family emigrated to the USA after the war, she stayed in Vienna.

Hilde Zadek

Hilde Zadek made her debut at the Vienna State Opera on February 3, 1947 as Aida in the opera of the same name by Giuseppe Verdi . Up until then she had never been on stage and learned the part in five days without a single rehearsal. Her debut was a success and the beginning of a long career. The chamber singer stayed with the Vienna State Opera for more than 25 years. She sang u. a. von Gluck ( Alceste , Iphigenie auf Tauris ), Mozart ( Countess Almaviva , Donna Anna , Vitellia ), Richard Strauss ( Salome , Chrysothemis , Marschallin , Arabella , Ariadne ), Richard Wagner ( Senta , Elisabeth , Elsa , Eva , Sieglinde ), Giuseppe Verdi ( Aida , Elisabeth , Amelia , Desdemona ) as well as the title role in Puccini's Tosca and the Santuzza in Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana . In addition to the great soprano roles from the classical and romantic periods, Hilde Zadek sang in Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Die tote Stadt , Gottfried von Einems Dantons Tod , Alban Berg's Altenberg-Lieder (op.4) , in Franz Schmidt's The Book with Seven Seals or in Gian-Carlo Menottis The Consul . Singing as a Jew for the former people of the perpetrators didn't bother her, as she said in an interview with the mdw magazine: "I have decided to love the Viennese audience, otherwise I would not have been able to sing for them."

Guest tours have taken the soprano to opera houses in New York, Moscow, London, Rome, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Lisbon, San Francisco and Amsterdam. She was a guest at the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Glyndebourne and Holland Festival. A special milestone in her artistic work was her participation as Eurydice at the Salzburg Festival in the world premiere (August 6, 1949) of Carl Orff's Antigonae . Hilde Zadek also gave recitals at home and abroad and performed as a soloist in choir and orchestral concerts.

From 1964 to 1978 Hilde Zadek headed the vocal department at the Vienna Conservatory and continued to work as a vocal teacher. Master classes took Hilde Zadek to Karlsruhe and Jerusalem, Switzerland and Italy.

The International Hilde Zadek Singing Competition named after her has been held every two years since 1998; since 2003 in cooperation with the Hildegard Zadek Foundation, founded in 1997 by the soprano Maria Venuti , and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna . It corresponded to the vocal pedagogical intention of the artist to promote young talents.


Hilde Zadek was buried in a grave of honor in the Vienna Central Cemetery (group 33G, number 12).

Student (selection)

Appointments and Honors

Discography (selection)

Opera / operetta

Concert / song

Literature (selection)

Web links

Commons : Hilde Zadek  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. https://focus.de/10363254
  2. ^ Occupation on February 3, 1947
  3. ^ Hilde Zadek's appearances at the Vienna State Opera
  4. Music has always been a business. Retrieved February 23, 2019 .
  5. ^ Hilde Zadek's appearances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York
  6. Performances with Hilde Zadek at the Royal Opera House / Covent Garden in London
  7. ^ Hilde Zadek's appearances at the Salzburg Festival
  8. premiere cast of Antigone at the Salzburg Festival
  9. The grave of Hilde Zadek. In: knerger.de. Klaus Nerger, accessed on June 3, 2019 .
  10. Hilde Zadek was awarded honorary membership in Vienna, April 19, 2017