Kateřina Kněžíková

Soprano

Biography

Czech soprano Kateřina Kněžíková, with her “darkly timbred yet crystalline soprano, highly emotional, shining from within” (Onlinemerker) “especially moving, warmly romantic with a burnished tone” (The Classic Review), has drawn superlative praise for her “willowy, seductive voice and natural interpretative skill, drawn straight from the heart, always in full technical control but with a timbre that, enlivened by seductive vibrato, is ideally soft and warm.” (Gramophone Magazine)

A long-time resident artist at the Prague National Opera, and one of the most sought-after singers in her native Czech Republic, Kateřina appears regularly with all the Czech and Slovakian opera houses, and further afield at La Monnaie Brussels, Opéra Royal de Versailles, Opéra de Dijon, and many others. With a strong background in baroque and Classical repertoire (including Handel’s Almirena, Aristea in Mysliveček’s L‘Olimpiade, and Mozart’s Susanna, Ilia, Contessa, Donna Elvira, Vitellia and Pamina), and Italianate roles including Verdi’s Gilda and Nannetta, Adina (Donizetti L’elisir d‘amore) and Rosina in Rossini‘s Il barbiere di Siviglia, she has developed naturally into the lyric repertoire, notably as Rusalka (Dvořák), Mařenka (Smetana’s The Bartered Bride), Janacek’s Vixen, Martinů’s Julietta and Mirandolina, Barče (Smetana The Kiss), Terinka (Dvořák: The Jacobin), and Gounod’s Marguerite. In 2021, she made her debut as Káťa Kabanová at the prestigious Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and returns for this role in 2025. In 2024, her repertoire with the Prague National Opera includes Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Mimi in La Boheme, Micaela in Carmen, and her debut as Janacek’s Jenufa. She will also debut the title role in Smetana’s Libuse and the Fox in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen in concert with the Czech Philharmonic.

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Reviews

“Kateřina Kněžíková as Mimì from the first appearance impresses not only with her superb technique. She manages to fill even the quietest moments with an incredible amount of emotion, which is particularly important in the role of Mimì. When she sings about the first kiss of the April sun in “Sì mi chiamano Mimì”, we actually feel like we have been kissed by her […] Once again it shows what a difference solid voice training makes. Her slightly darkly timbred yet crystalline soprano can sparkle just as brightly during the happy scenes and Mimì’s blossoming love as it falls into increasing darkness as her death approaches. The declaration of love to Rodolfo shortly before her death is an intimate, highly emotional, even private moment. Ms. Kněžíková’s voice simply shines from within…”

Online Merker

“Limpid, shimmering, sparkling, flexible, and penetrating […] if you often feel that “meaning” is wrongly valued over beauty of tone in art song performance, then you ought to appreciate in Knezikova an artist who values equally both aspects of the singer’s art. A sensitive artist with a stunning voice…”

N. De Sapio 5 out of 5 stars A Lustrous Art Song Recital

“Kateřina Kněžíková gives a masterful performance of the title role [Kat’a Kabanova] and adds to that a voice that has glitter at the top and sweetness throughout. Her acting is totally believable as she flits around the stage, moods swinging between dreaminess and honest but doomed attempts to come to terms with daily reality. Kněžíková is the undoubted star of the show.”

David Karlin

Bachtrack

More Reviews

“In Dvořák’s Requiem sympathetic soprano Kateřina Kněžíková rose to the biggest challenges – lyric, limpid but always capable of projecting above large forces.”

The Arts Desk

“The Wunderhorn fable of heavenly joy and angelic life [was] played by the excellent Czech soprano Kateřina Kněžíková with a light-as-bell soprano in appropriately delicate and coaxing tones, as if in a children’s concert were presented. Her transfigured, pure tone made the chorus lines seem like angels singing, and the symphony ended in long seconds of emotion. In Richard Strauss’s Zueignung she was able to show the enthusiastic audience that her well-timbred voice can also radiate passionate sonic splendour.”

Bachtrack

“What immediately struck me was the exceedingly clean sound she has: her pitches never fail to be spot-on and her singing has a pronounced clarity. It’s not only technical precision, though: she fills the lines with an eager wonder that is not without a certain dreaminess.”

The Classic Review