Dvořák, his Librettists, and the Working Libretto for ‘Armida’

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3 Citations (Scopus)


From the late 1860s, opera for Dvorák, along with many composers of the Czech national revival, was an abiding preoccupation. This article examines Dvorak’s relationship with his librettists, his approach to their texts, and the extent to which he was prepared to mould their content. While there is no surviving correspondence between Dvorák and the librettist of his last opera, Jaroslav Vrchlický, a copy of the libretto of Armida with annotations in both Vrchlický’s and Dvorák’s hands was found in 2007 among the writer’s papers. Although Dvorák’s stage sense has often been called into question, it is clear that his interventions in the libretto of Armida, in the first and last acts in particular, show a practical, theatrical approach that did much to enhance the dramatic impact of Armida’s first entry and the final chorus of the opera.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-567
Number of pages13
JournalMusic & Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

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