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prōtovyzantinē basilikē o prōtovyzantinos oikismos. Synophē istorikōn symperasmatōn . In: Prōtovyzantinē Eleutherna 1. Ed.: P. G. Themelis . Athens , 35 – 110 . Tsafrir , Y. – Foerster , G. 1997 : Urbanism at Scythopolis-Bet Shean in the Fourth to

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If Bedřich Smetana is thought to be the father of Czech national opera, Antonín Dvořák and Zdeněk Fibich would be his sons. Czech critics as well as the public expected that Smetana’s successors would bring Czech opera to international recognition. Dvořák and Fibich gave increased attention to opera composition during the 1890s and the beginning of the twentieth century. They both crowned their achievements with monumental operas on subjects with historical settings: Fibich’s The Fall of Arkona (1900) and Dvořák‘s Armida (1904). The reason for this apparent coincidence was, in part, that these works were written after Wagner’s operas and before the operatic successes of Richard Strauss, when it was possible to devise free combinations of symphonically composed scenes, arioso-like vocal lines influenced by verismo, and the dramaturgical effects of grand opera. As a praised model for successful historical opera might have served Karl Goldmark’s famous work Die Königin von Saba, especially in the case of Fibich’s last opera, which was explicitly compared with Goldmark’s opera. Operas on historical subjects form a little-known part of the works of Czech composers, but they extend from Smetana’s piece The Brandenburgers in Bohemia through the late operas of Dvořák and Fibich to Janáček’s two-part opera The Excursions of Mr Brouček. It is a line of operas that present an unforgettable counterpart to many successful Czech theatrical compositions – representative operas and intimate tragedies, comic operas and fairy tales, generally written on subjects from Czech villages and mythology, including Smetana’s Bartered Bride and Libuše, Fibich’s The Tempest and Šárka, Dvořák’s Jakobín, Kate and the Devil and Rusalka, Josef Bohuslav Foerster’s Eva, as well as Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa.

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