Marie Fajtová is a young Czech graduate of the Prague Conservatory who studied piano very early and then singing. She was a finalist in the Antonín Dvorák International Singing Competition in 2004. In 2008 she won the Grand Prize in the Barbara Hendricks International Vocal Competition in Strasbourg. During the 2005-2006 season she was a member of Pilsen’s Theatre and after that moved to the National Theatre in Prague. She has also appeared in other Czech houses as well as in several countries abroad. In January this year she made her debut at the Finnish National Opera as Marguerite inFaust.
I have still to hear her in the flesh but she has an agreeable bright, lyric voice. This is mobilised with intensity and involvement and she nuances well. What may be a disturbance to some listeners is her vibrato: a fast flicker that is noticeable from mezzo-forte and upwards. Others would call it a characteristic of her timbre that gives her a very personal sound. It actually bothered me very little, though I would have preferred a straighter tone. Her pianissimo singing is ravishing, however, and she has a splendid legato, which is amply demonstrated in Richard Strauss’sHeimkehrfor instancesample.Allerseelenis strong, expressive and concentrated whileMorgenis scaled down and inward. Her handling of dynamics is in clear evidence inBefreit.I chose those Richard Strauss lieder as examples since they are by far the best known in this recital.