Karel Burian

Burian, Karel


Born Jan. 12, 1870, in Rusinov; died Sept. 25, 1924, in Senomati. Czech singer (dramatic tenor).

Burian studied with K. Vallerstein and M. Angra in Prague. He made his debut in Brno in 1891 and in 1892 became a member of the opera company of the National Theater in Prague. He was a guest performer in the leading opera houses of Western Europe (including, from 1902 to 1910, the Dresden Court Theater) and of North America (he performed every season from 1906 to 1913 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York). Particularly famous for his leading roles in operas by R. Wagner and B. Smetana, Burian also was a chamber singer with a repertoire including Czech folk songs and works of such contemporary composers as G. Mahler, R. Strauss, and A. Schönberg. The best roles in Burian’s very broad repertoire of approximately 114 parts were Tannhäuser and Parsifal in Wagner’s operas; E nik, Dalibor, and Lukash in The Bartered Bride, Dalibor, and The Kiss by Smetana; Jan Kozina in The Dog-heads by Kovafovits; and Herod in Salome by R. Strauss.


Burian, E. F. Karel Burian. Prague, 1948.
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It will not be a Hungarian Sangerlexikon because it will also comprise the ensembles of the Royal Hungarian Opera House and some smaller operatic theatres of Budapest in the first half of the twentieth century, thus for example the foreign opera singers Karel Burian, Werner Alberti, Henri Prevost and Taurino Parvis.
The Czech tenor Karel Burian was a member of the Royal Hungarian Opera in the 1901-1902 operatic season; later he appeared as a guest singer regularly between 1907 and 1923.