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Jarmila Novotna

Foto: Gregory Harlip (?-1945)

1907 - 1994

The opera singer and actress Jarmila Novotna studied voice by Emmy Destinn and Hilbert Vavia in Prague, later she went to Antonio Guarnieri in Milan.

She began her professional career as an opera singer in 1925 with Smetana's "Die verkaufte Braut" and aroused enthusiasm by her role as Violeta in Verdi's "La Traviata".
She mae her film debut in the same years with the Czech silent movie "Vyznavaci slunce" (25), but the great successes in the film business came with the talkies of the 30's.

Jarmila Novotna was able to expand her career beyond Prague from 1928. She got engagements in Verona, Neapel and Berlin.
She lived in Berlin till 1933 where she launched a successful film career. She was convincing in the movies "Der Bettelstudent" (31), "Die verkaufte Braut" (32) and "Die Nacht der grossen Liebe" (33). 

When the political mood became more and more hostile she went to Austria where she met the composer Franz Lehar. He engaged her for the leading role for his new play "Giuditta. Because of the huge success she was signed on at the Viennese Staatsoper and was appointed to a Kammersängerin.
At the same time came her last German-language movies into being called "Frasquita" (34) and "Der Kosak und die Nachtigall" (35).

Finally Jarmila Novotna went to England where she appeared in a movie with the title "The Last Walzt" (36).
When she was invited to New York in 1939 by Arturo Toscanini in order to impersonate the role of Violetta in "La Traviata", this marked the beginning of her last career phase. She signed a contract with the Metropolitan Opera in 1940 and was very successful in whole USA. Especially her role as Violetta gave her the reputation as one of the best singer of that time. 

In the USA she also appeared on Broadway (among others in "Helen of Troy" and as Irene Adler at Basil Rathbone's side in "Sherlock Holmes") besides the opera stage.
She also took part in few movies and TV productions, so in "The Search" (48), "The Great Caruso" (51) and "The Great Waltz" (55).

Jarmila Novotna retired from the public in 1956 and attended her family.

Other movies with Jarmila Novotna:
Skrivanci pisen (33) Serie "Studio One: Rendezvous" (53)