Karel Burian also Carl Burrian 12 January — 25 September was a renowned Czech operatic tenor who had an active international career spanning the s to the s. A Heldentenor , Burian earned acclaim in Europe and America for his powerful performances of the heaviest Wagnerian roles. Inititially Burian had intended to become a lawyer and had attended Prague University for a year in pursuit of this goal. However, a professor at the university heard his voice and encouraged him to pursue an operatic career, putting him in touch with Pivoda for lessons. He later pursued further vocal studies with Felix von Kraus in Munich. The very next day he portrayed the title role in Smetana's Dalibor to such outstanding success that he was offered a long-term contract with the Brno Opera. However, he sang only one other major role with the company, Manrico in Giuseppe Verdi 's Il trovatore , before joining the opera house in Reval for the season. He sang at the opera house in Aachen during the season, notably appearing in the world premiere of Leo Blech 's first opera, Aglaja. By the mids Burian was beginning to build a substantial reputation in Germany for the quality of his performances of the heldentenor repertoire. From to he was the leading Wagnerian tenor at the Cologne Opera.
Originally recognised only in his native Czechoslovakia , Burian's fame later spread to an international audience during a remarkable career spanning six decades s to s. He is regarded by many as one of the most influential palaeoartists of the modern era, and a number of subsequent artists have attempted to emulate his style. Burian was an extremely prolific artist whose works are estimated to number fifteen thousand paintings and drawings ink pen and pencil. Since the late s and early s when Burian's work became known in the west through a series of large-format books released by the Artia publishing house, numerous scholarly and popular books on prehistoric life have featured his work, either as originals or as art based closely on them. These illustrations brought him to university palaeontologist Josef Augusta 's attention. Burian worked in cooperation with Augusta from until Augusta's death in
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