One of the most inspiring Czech female artists reveals the riveting story behind her world prestige.
Having celebrated her 90th birthday, this opera singer, actress and living legend, recounts the 25-year period in her life after returning to her homeland. Soňa Červená’s private and professional life was marked by the dramatic events of the 20th century, which were tainted by Nazism and Communism. Her dazzling 40-year career includes one hundred opera roles, in four thousand shows on five continents. A singer with an unmistakable vocal timbre, she has performed with artists, such as Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo. She also collaborated with Lou Reed and Tom Waits, and performed on stages in New York, Hong Kong and Sydney. At the age of 77, she launched her second career in her hometown, at the National Theatre in Prague. After 30 years of emigration, and having been erased from the rich history she’d been such an integral part of, Červená returned to theatre and opera. She also found herself on movie screens and began to write. Her books include, Pining Averted, which builds on Červená’s memoirs, Stýskání zakázáno (Pining Forbidden, 2014), and the book Můj Václav (My Václav, 2001).
“Her narration, in beautiful Czech, is lively, full of insights and has a sense for detail.”
“The book, which is also a historical document full of information and useful references will appeal to lovers of opera, theatre and film. It will also touch readers who are less keen on music, but appreciate brilliant work and artistic talent.”
About the author
Soňa Červená (b. 1925) is an internationally recognised Czech mezzo-soprano singer, actress, writer and translator. She has performed in innumerable opera houses around the world, including La Scala or the Grand Opera. During her career as a singer, Červená performed in more than four thousand shows. After ending her opera-singing career, she performed in Hamburg’s Thalia Theatre, under the direction of Robert Wilson. She has written several memoirs and translated all of Janáček’s works into English, German and French. A feature documentary about her life, Červená, was released in 2017 to mark her 92nd birthday.