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 »  Home  »  Culture And Arts  »  (E) Opera NIKOLA SUBIC ZRINSKI - A Historic Event 2
(E) Opera NIKOLA SUBIC ZRINSKI - A Historic Event 2
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  07/2/2002 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
(E) Opera NIKOLA SUBIC ZRINSKI - A Historic Event 2

 

OPERA NIKOLA SUBIC ZRINSKI - A musical tragedy in three acts or eight scenes 
The first performance of Nikola Subic Zrinski took place in Zagreb, November 4, 1876. The Croatian poet Hugo Badalic (1851-1900) wrote the libretto after a drama "ZRINY" by Theodor Korner (1791-1813). Ivan pl. Zajc composed the music. 
According to the notes on Zajc's score he composed the opera in a little over three months (July 2 - October 10 1876) and the premiere was performed after 24 days only; not a small feat indeed considering staging costumes and the necessary rehearsals! 
In his opera "Zrinski" Zajc has made use of tonal colouring derived from Croatian folk melodies (for example Jelena's subtle lullaby "The Red Rose Blossoms" and a melody from Podsused "The Magpie has a long Tail and Mottled Plumage"), ecstatic pathos (e.g. Zrinski's and Eva's duet "On Wings of Glory") as well as the crowning monumentality (the "Oath" of the town defenders). The leitmotiv (a recurring melody) technique common to other international operas of the time has secured for "Zrinski", among other tonal solutions, its rightful place amid similar contemporary works of other European countries. Zajc himself considered "Zrinski" to be a worthy achievement and befitting for staging abroad; his wish was granted a year before his death with "Zrinski's" performance in Prague (1913). 
"It would be fitting to see in the years ahead"; expressed Croatian musicologist Lovro Zupanovic, " that "Nikola Subic Zrinski" is performed more frequently abroad. Zajc's work indeed deserves such destiny" Almost a hundred years later this has become a reality yet again, now on the North American continent! 
Information from a booklet accompanying CD (Croatia records) 2CD-D-K 5022770: writer: Zupanovic, Lovro, Nikola Subic Zrinski 

Toronto Committee for the Promotion of Croatian Opera: producer Edward Mavrinac, with Aranka Lengyel & Srebrenka Bogovic. (e-mail:seb@boldinternet.com)  

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