Štefan Babjak

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Štefan Babjak (7 October 1931 in Humenné 27 April 2008) was a Slovak classical baritone who had a lengthy career performing in operas, operettas, and musicals in his home country. Three of his five children, Martin Babjak, Ján Babjak and Terézia Kružliaková, are professional opera singers.

Humenné Town in Slovakia

Humenné is a town in the Prešov Region ("kraj") in eastern Slovakia and the second largest town of the historic Zemplín region. It lies at the volcanic Vihorlat mountains and at the confluence of the Laborec and Cirocha Rivers.

A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. Originally from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning heavy sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C (i.e. F2–F4) in choral music, and from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C (A2 to A4) in operatic music, but can be extended at either end. The baritone voice type is generally divided into the baryton-Martin baritone (light baritone), lyric baritone, Kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, and the bass-baritone.

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

Babjak was a member of the State Opera in Banská Bystrica from 1959 up until his death almost five decades later. He particularly excelled in portraying roles in operas by Giuseppe Verdi, including the Count di Luna in Il trovatore , Germont in La Traviata , Iago in Otello , Renato in Un ballo in maschera , Rodrigue in Don Carlos , and the title roles in Rigoletto and Simon Boccanegra . Other important roles for him included Caniche in Gejza Dusík's Modrá ruža , Escamillo in Georges Bizet's Carmen , Miško in Emmerich Kálmán's Čardášová princezna , Stárek in Leoš Janáček's Jenůfa , Štelina in Eugen Suchoň's Krútňava , Valentín in Charles Gounod's Faust , Vodník in Antonín Dvořák's Rusalka , and the title roles in Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Alexander Borodin's Prince Igor . He also portrayed Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady and Horace in Hello, Dolly! .

Banská Bystrica City in Slovakia

Banská Bystrica is a city in central Slovakia located on the Hron River in a long and wide valley encircled by the mountain chains of the Low Tatras, the Veľká Fatra, and the Kremnica Mountains. With 78 327 inhabitants, Banská Bystrica is the sixth most populous municipality in Slovakia. The present town was founded by German settlers, however it was built upon a former Slavic settlement. It obtained the municipal privileges of a free royal town of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1255. The copper mining town acquired its present picturesque look in the Late Middle Ages when the prosperous burghers built its central churches, mansions, and fortifications. It is the capital of the kraj and the okres. It is also the home of Matej Bel University. As a historical city with an easy access to the surrounding mountains, Banská Bystrica is a popular winter and summer tourist destination.

Giuseppe Verdi Italian opera composer

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.

<i>Il trovatore</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Il trovatore is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto largely written by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El trovador (1836) by Antonio García Gutiérrez. It was Gutiérrez's most successful play, one which Verdi scholar Julian Budden describes as "a high flown, sprawling melodrama flamboyantly defiant of the Aristotelian unities, packed with all manner of fantastic and bizarre incident."

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