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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!
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Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609