Personalities | Zdenek Fibich | Turn of the Century | Opera

1850–1900, Czech

Although little known today, during his lifetime Fibich was fêted as the successor to Smetana and certainly commanded operatic attention equal to Dvořák. He studied initially with his mother in Prague, then in Leipzig, Paris and Mannheim. His early adult life was far from easy, with the death of his wife less than a year after their marriage. He subsequently married his first wife’s sister, and earned a good living from operetta and chorus conducting while continuing to compose prolifically. Fibich searched wider than Dvořák and Smetana for his inspiration. His theatrical works draw on subjects as diverse as Greek mythology (Hippodamia, 1888–91), Czech mythology (Sárka, 1896–97) and writers including Schiller, Lord Byron and Shakespeare. As was the case for most stage composers of the time, the influence of Wagner was unavoidable. Fibich was also indebted to Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826) and Schumann as well as to the folk music of his native country for helping to develop his style.

Introduction | Turn of the Century | Opera
Personalities | Giovacchino Forzano | Turn of the Century | Opera
Techniques | Operetta | Turn of the Century | Opera


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