Phydilé: debut solo album of rising Czech opera star Kateřina Kněžíková

Kateřina Kněžíková

This week’s Sunday Music Show is dedicated to Phydilé, a debut solo album by Kateřina Kněžíková, one of the most sought-after Czech opera singers, which was released in May this year to a huge critical acclaim. It was recorded with the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, conducted by Robert Jindra and contains songs by Bohuslav Martinů’s cycle of Magic Nights, as well as songs by Henri Duparc, Maurice Ravel and Karol Szymanowski.

Photo: Supraphon

Kateřina Kněžíková graduated from Prague Conservatory in 2007 and in 2010 she completed her university degree at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. In 2005 she made her debut as Zerlina in Mozart‘s Don Giovanni at the National Theatre in Prague, and has since appeared regularly on its stage.

She has also performed at opera houses and concert venues worldwide, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Bamberger Symphoniker or the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. So far the biggest highlight of her career was the title role in Janáček's opera Katya Kabanova in Glyndebourne in June this year.

For her debut solo album, Kateřina Kněžíková selected songs that are “particularly close to her heart and voice, all of them dating from the turn of the 20th century, all of them tinged with Impressionism.” One of them is Henri Duparc's songs, depicting Phydilé, a simple and pious country girl, which has given the album its title.