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Open Features: Otakar Kraus

Peter Wintersgill outlines the career of singer Otakar5 Kraus who created the role of Tarquinius in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia.

Born
10 December, 1909, in Prague.

Adult Life
Otakar Kraus studied in Prague and Milan. He made his debut in Brno as Amonastro in Aida in 1935 and was the principal baritone in the Bratislava Opera from 1936 – 39.

He settled in London in 1940, where he created the role of Tarquinius in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia. A member of Covent Garden from 1951, he created the roles of Nick in Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress, of Diomede in Walton’s Troilus and Cressida and of King Fisher in Tippett’s A Midsummer Marriage.

In 1973 he received an OBE.

Kraus died in London on 28 July, 1980, aged 70.

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