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Hilde Zadek (15 December 1917 – 21 February 2019)[2] was a German operatic soprano. She was Kammersängerin at the Vienna State Opera.

Hilde Zadek
Hilde Zadek.jpg
Born(1917-12-15)15 December 1917
Died21 February 2019(2019-02-21) (aged 101)
Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Classical soprano
  • Academic teacher
OrganizationVienna State Opera


Early lifeEdit

Zadek was born in Bromberg, Province of Posen on 15 December 1917. After her hometown became Polish after World War I, her parents moved to Stettin in 1920,[3] where Zadek spent her youth. However as a Jew she was forced to leave Germany in 1934 and settled in then Palestine, where she worked as a nurse in Jerusalem, while studying voice with Rose Pauly. In 1945, she returned to Europe and studied at the Zurich Conservatory with Ria Ginster.[4]

Life and careerEdit

She made her operatic debut in 1947, at the Vienna State Opera, in the title role of Verdi's Aida to great acclaim, she remained with this theatre for twenty years. The following year she first appeared at the Salzburg Festival, where she appeared as Donna Anna in Mozart's Donna Anna, as Vittelia in his La clemenza di Tito, and in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss. Her repertory also included; Elsa in Wagner's Lohengrin, Eva in his Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and the title roles of Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride and Puccini's Tosca.[4]

Zadek took part in the world premiere of Carl Orff's Antigonae in 1949, and sang Magda Sorel in the local premiere in Vienna of Menotti's The Consul in 1950. She also appeared at the Munich State Opera and the Berlin State Opera.[5] She made guest appearances at the Royal Opera House in London, the Glyndebourne Festival and the Holland Festival, at the Paris Opéra, La Monnaie in Brussels, La Scala in Milan, and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, etc..[5]

Zadek in April 2015 at age 97

She sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York during the 1952–53 season. She also appeared at the San Francisco Opera and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Beginning in 1967, she taught at the Vienna Music Academy, and gave masterclasses. She retired from the stage in 1971.[6]

She left a notable recording of Donna Anna in a complete Don Giovanni, with conductor Rudolf Moralt, opposite George London, Léopold Simoneau and Sena Jurinac. She turned 100 on 15 December 2017.[7]

She died in Karlsruhe on 21 February 2019 at the age of 101.[8][9]

For the promotion of young musicians, the Hildegard Zadek Foundation has held the biennual International Hilde Zadek Voice Competition from 2003.[10]



Zadek, Hilde (2001). Parschalk, Volkmar, ed. Mein Leben. 'Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding'. Vienna: Böhlau. ISBN 978-3205993629.


  1. ^ Cohn, Michal Smoira. "Music: Palestine and Israel". Jewish Women’s Archive. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Nachruf: Trauer um Jahrhundert-Sängerin Hilde Zadek". Kleine Zeitung (in German). Graz. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  3. ^ Deuter, Susanne (14 December 2002). "Zum 85. Geburtstag von Kammersängerin Hilde Zadek aus Bromberg". Das Ostpreußenblatt (in German). Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b Venuti, Maria (2018). "'Musik muss aus dem Herzen kommen' Hilde Zadek zum 100. Geburtstag". In Gesellschaft für Musikgeschichte. Musik in Baden-Württemberg. Jahrbuch 2017/18: Jubiläumsband. 24. Springer Verlag. ISBN 9783476046826.
  5. ^ a b "Hilde Zadek". Operissimo. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Sopranistin Hilde Zadek im Alter von 101 Jahren gestorben". Die Zeit (in German). Hamburg. dpa. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Hilde Zadek - die Jahrhundert-Sängerin wird 100". Salzburger Nachrichten (in German). APA. 15 December 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Sängerin Hilde Zadek im Alter von 101 Jahren gestorben". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Munich. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "International Hilde Zadek Singing Competition". Vienna. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Die Wiener Staatsoper trauert um KS Hilde Zadek" (in German). Vienna: Wiener Staatsoper. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  12. ^ a b Fastl, Christian. "Zadek, Hilde (Hildegard)". Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon online. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Kammersängerin Prof. Dr. h. c. Hilde Zadek erzählt aus ihrem Leben" (in German). Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  14. ^ Dobretsberger, Christine (26 December 2015). "'Man muss die Welt von allen Seiten ansehen'". Wiener Zeitung (in German). Vienna. Retrieved 22 February 2019.

External linksEdit