On Tuesday, hundreds of people said goodbye to the opera singer and actress Soňa Červená, who died on May 7 in Prague at the age of 97, in the packed Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Hradec Králové. Among those present were the mayor of Hradec Králové Pavlína Springerová and the director general of the National Theater Jan Burian.
The funeral mass was celebrated by Bishop Jan Vokál of Králové Hradec Králové. The service in the cathedral was musically accompanied by the Hradec Králové Philharmonic, the soloist of the National Theater Jiří Hájek sang. On Tuesday evening, Červená will be buried in the family tomb at the cemetery in the Pouchov district.
“Soňa Červená wished to be buried in Hradec Králové, because the roots of her family go back to this city. She felt a great closeness to her great-grandfather, who made brass instruments in Hradec Králové,” said Pavel Jakub Sršeň, spokesman for the Hradec Králové diocese and organizer of the last farewell in Hradec Králové.
For the past 15 years, he and Soňa Červená have been linked by friendship and artistic collaboration. In the past, he was the PR manager of the Royal Hradec Philharmonic. “Her deep relationship with Hradec Králové is further illustrated by the fact that she bequeathed to the Hradec Philharmonic an entire collection of historical brass instruments that came from her great-grandfather’s workshop and which she had collected all her life. She went to Hradec Králové very often after her return from emigration. She also wrote in the guest book of the philharmonic : I’m at home here,” said Sršeň.
In recent years, she and his family have been decorating the tomb of the Reds at the Pouchov cemetery. “She knew that she would one day rest here. That is why she also approached the architect Josef Pleskot to complete the tomb. By the way, thanks to Sona Červená, Hradec has at least one work by the architect Pleskot on its territory. Five years ago, the singer had her signature installed on the tombstone,” he said. According to him, she was greatly affected by emigration, in which she lived for 30 years, leaving communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960s.
The hearse brought the coffin from the National Theater in Prague, where it was also possible to say goodbye to this personality. Representatives of the cultural scene remember her as an extraordinary artist and an exceptional person. “The last time such a famous funeral was held in Hradec Králové was in 2011, when Archbishop Karel Otčenášek died. I estimate that 500 people attended today’s farewell to Mrs. Červená in the Hradec Králové cathedral,” Sršeň added.
As the coffin left the cathedral, the Augustin bell, which is hung in the White Tower, rang out. The Hradec Králové Augustin bell is the third largest in the Czech Republic, and is usually rung on church and state holidays and events important to the city.
Soňa Červený, who was the daughter of the writer and comedian Jiří Červený and whose great-grandfather was the famous Hradec Králové manufacturer and inventor of brass musical instruments Václav František Červený, was born on September 9, 1925 in Prague. She started in the theater. After her emigration, she sang in important world opera houses. She received numerous awards for her artistic activity.
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