Most music lovers know one Smetana opera; Czechs know them all as the foundation of Czech nationalistic musical culture, encompassing comedy, tragedy, history, and legend. The course will begin with his two early successes, comic (The Bartered Bride) and tragic (Dalibor). Then a serious opera based on Czech history and legend (Libusse). The last two weeks will briefly survey three late operas composed after he went suddenly deaf, a folksy comedy (The Kiss) and two romantic operas (The Secret and The Devil’s Wall).
GROUP LEADER: Steven Ledbetter has a PhD in musicology from New York University. He taught there and at Dartmouth College for a decade, then spent 19 years as program annotator and lecturer at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1976, on a visit to Prague, he saw two of Smetana’s operas in their native culture and was hooked!
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption College, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609508-767-7513