Personalities | Bohuslav Martinu | Modern Era | Opera

1890–1959, Czech

One of the leading Czech composers of the twentieth century, Martinu produced 15 operas that display a penchant for vibrant innovation. After studying at the Prague Conservatory, Martinu moved to Paris in 1923 and was influenced by the sights and sounds of jazz, music hall and the avant-garde. As Western Europe regenerated itself following the First World War, Martinu created operas such as The Soldier and the Dancer (1927), the jazz-inspired The Three Wishes (1929) and The Miracles of Mary (1934) before turning his attention towards a new medium: radio. Of Martinu’s two radio operas, the comic morality tale Comedy on the Bridge (1935) is the best known and most performed. However Julietta (1937), based on the composer’s libretto, is his finest operatic achievement, as well as his personal favourite.

In 1940, while his career was flourishing following the premiere of his Double Concerto, Martinu was blacklisted by the Nazis and fled to America with his wife, a suitcase and his score of Julietta. After the war, he wrote a couple of operas for television, and then settled in France during the mid-1950s. His final operas Ariane (1958) and The Greek Passion (1956–59) were not produced until after his death.

Introduction | Modern Era | Opera
Personalities | Lauritz Melchior | Modern Era | Opera


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.