Kraus, Otakar, Czech-born English baritone; b. Prague, Dec. 10, 1909; d. London, July 28, 1980. He was a student of Konrad Wallerstein in Prague and of Fernando Carpi in Milan. He made his operatic debut as Amonasro in Brno (1935); then sang in Bratislava. At the outbreak of World War II, he went to England, where he sang with the Carl Rosa Opera Co. (1940); then joined the English Opera Group (1946), creating Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. He sang with the Netherlands Opera (1950–51); created Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (Venice, 1951); subsequently appeared at London’s Covent Garden (1951–73), where he created Diomede in Walton’s Troilus and Cressida (1954) and King Fisher in Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage (1955); also appeared as Alberich at the Bayreuth Festivals (1960–62). After his retirement, he devoted himself to teaching. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (1973).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire