In memoriam: Hana Zagorová, one of Czechia’s most popular singers

Photo: Suprafon

Hana Zagorová was born on September 6, 1946 in a small village of Petřkovice on the outskirts of Ostrava. She first appeared at the age of 17, when she entered a local singing competition called Searching for New Talents.

Five years later, she graduated from the theater department of the Academy of Music and Performing Arts Janáček in Brno. At the end of the 1960s, Hana Zagorová began to appear regularly on television and performed with the Flamingo group and the Sodoma-Gomorrah ensemble.

She also began collaborating with the Václav Zahradník Orchestra, with whom she recorded her first album Bludička, released in 1970, with her first major hit, Bludička Julie.

Photo: Suprafon

After moving to Prague in the early 1970s, Zagorová began recording with the Czechoslovak Radio Dance Orchestra and between 1972 and 1974 she performed as a guest performer at the legendary Semafor Theatre.

His popularity with listeners continued to grow. In 1974 and 1975, she came third in the Golden Nightingale music competition, followed by second place in 1976. From 1977, she won the competition nine times in a row. She started performing with her own band, and at the end of the decade she gave several concerts across Czechoslovakia with the famous Italian singer Drupi.

During the 1980s, Zagorová was at the peak of his career, giving concerts at home and abroad, including Poland, Germany and the Soviet Union. She also started performing with the dance and vocal duo Petr Kotvald and Stanislav Hložek.

Hana Zagorová and Štefan Margita |  Photo: Julie Kalodová, Czech Radio

In June 1989, Zagorová signed the “Několik vět” petition, in which Charter 77 demanded the release of political prisoners and freedom of speech. She was banned from performing until the fall of the communist regime a few months later.

She first appeared in public in November 1989 when she sang in Wenceslas Square with Jaroslav Hutka. In 1992 she married her second husband, opera singer Štefan Margita, with whom she recorded several albums in the following years.

Photo: Suprafon

In 2015 she was inducted into the Anděl Music Awards Hall of Fame and released her latest solo studio album. Despite her long-term health problems, Hana Zagorová continued to perform across the country until last August, when she was forced to cancel all of her professional engagements due to health complications related to Covid-19. 19.

Berta D. Wells