Růžena Vykoukalová-Bradáčová

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Růžena Vykoukalová-Bradáčová (1868-1921), as the Countess in The Queen of Spades

Czech operatic mezzo-soprano (b. 27 June 1868 in Kostelec nad Černými lesy; d. 18 October 1921 in Prague).

She performed the role of the Countess at the first production at the National Theatre in Prague of Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades (30 September/12 October 1892). Tchaikovsky, who attended this performance, "of all the members of the cast liked most of all Madame Bradačeva-Vykouvalová, who displayed the talent of a great dramatic actress in her interpretation of the role of the Queen of Spades [i.e. the Countess]" [1]. At her request Tchaikovsky sent her his photograph on 4/16 November 1892 and in the accompanying letter asked her in turn to provide him with a photograph of herself in the role of the Countess (Letter 4796). The singer duly replied from Prague on 7 February 1893 [N.S.]:

Dear Sir,

Please receive a thousand thanks for your kindness. By presenting me with your autograph you have made me indescribably happy. I shall cherish it with profound respect as a valuable keepsake and ask you, dear maestro, to accept from me the enclosed photographs as a faint token of my gratitude for the role in your incomparable opera The Queen of Spades, in whose cast I had the honour of appearing, much as I was unworthy of such an honour.

With the very greatest admiration, your devoted

Růžena Vykouvalová
member of the National Opera in Prague [2].

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

2 letters from Tchaikovsky to Růžena Vykoukalová-Bradáčová have survived, dating from 1892 and 1893, both of which have been translated into English on this website:

5 letters from Růžena Vykoukalová-Bradáčová to the composer, dating from 1893, are preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.

Bibliography

Notes and References