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Former National Theatre’s opera head Hermannová dies

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Prague, Feb 15 (CTK) – Eva Hermannova, former head of the opera ensemble of the National Theatre (ND) in Prague, who was deported to the ghetto in Terezin, north Bohemia, when she was 14 years old, died at the age of 87 on Monday, the ND and the online theatre paper Divadelni noviny have reported.

She sang in the choir in the staging of Hans Krasa’s Brundibar opera in Terezin.

Krasa was a composer of Czech-German-Jewish origin who died in Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in 1944, aged 45. He composed the opera in Terezin internment.

Hermannova will be buried at the Jewish cemetery at the Olsany cemetery in Prague on Friday afternoon, February 17.

Hermannova was born in Vienna in 1929. Her father was a Jewish shopkeeper, her mother a Vienna opera singer. She spent her childhood in Opava, north Moravia, and Prostejov, south Moravia.

After her return from Terezin, she passed secondary-school leaving exams and graduated from the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, where she studied musical sciences.

After her studies, she joined the newly established Theatre Institute, where she worked as a critic and historian until 1957 when she retired. She regularly carried information on the world of opera abroad.

Hermannova was the ND opera chief in 1991-95. She directed it closer to Europe and invited Czech emigrants, Czech artists active abroad and directors, mainly from German-speaking countries, for cooperation.

Divadelni noviny wrote that she made the ND opera a centre of contemporary theatre.

Until 2012, Hermannova was a member of the opera jury of the Thalia theatre competition. She chaired the jury for a few years.

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