Opera Scotland

Antonín Dvořák Suggest updates

Born Nelahozeves, 8 September 1841.

Died Prague, 1 May 1904.

Czech (Bohemian) composer.

Dvořák was a hugely popular composer in Britain during the last decades of his life, and a number of his major works were premiered here, including the Seventh Symphony, Requiem and two oratorios. The Spectre's Bride was quickly performed by choral societies up and down the country. It is therefore perhaps surprising that his operas have found far less popularity in Britain, but particularly in Scotland, where their neglect is almost shocking. The Prague production of Rusalka that came to Edinburgh in 1964 was much enjoyed, but led nowhere. When Scottish Opera at last staged The Jacobin the director's concept seemed to emphasise the inherent weaknesses of the piece which a more skilful production might have disguised. Plenty of his operas still await professional performances in Britain.

That, however, is not a problem that afflicts his excellent Requiem, commissioned for the Birmingham Festival. As with Verdi's more spectacular model, the performers justify their inclusion even if the work did not.

Operas and oratorios performed in Scotland are shown in bold:-

01   Alfred the Great (1870; prod Olomouc 1938) (Korner)

02   King and Charcoal Burner - Král a uhlíř  (Prague 1874) (Lobeský & Novotny)

03   The Stubborn Lovers - Tvrdé palice (1874; prod Prague 1881) (Štolba)        

04   Vanda (Prague 1876) (Beneš-Sumavský)

05   The Cunning Peasant - Šelma sedlák (Prague 1878) (Veselý)

06   Dimitrij (Prague 1882) (Červinková-Riegrová)                                                       

07   The Spectre's Bride (Birmingham 1885) (Erben)

08   Saint Ludmila (Leeds 1886) (Vrchlický)                                                                   

09   The Jacobin - Jakobín (Prague 1889, rev 1897) (Červinková-Riegrová)

10    Requiem (Birmingham 1891) (Liturgy)

11   Te Deum (New York 1892) (Liturgy)

12   The Devil and Kate - Čert a Káča (Prague 1899) (Wenig)                                                   

13   Rusalka (Prague 1901) (Kvapil)

14   Armida (Prague 1904) (Vrchlický) 

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