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Frantisek Skroup

born: 1801-06-03
died: 1862-02-07
birthplace: Osice
diedplace: Rotterdam

Czech musician, singer, conductor and composer, author of Czech National Anthem. Born as fifth child in the family of a teacher and musician Dominik Skroup in Osice by Hradec Kralove. He got the basic musical education from his father; in his age of 8 he already played flute on public. He studied the grammar school in Hradec Kralove, then law at the University of Prague. There he made his living as a music teacher and singer in the theatre choir (in Stavovske divadlo). He was interested in amateur theatre; together with other patriots they founded an association aiming to conduct Czech operas in Prague. A great momentum was the opera by Austrian composer Josef Weigl called "Family of Swiss" that was translated into Czech. The amateur presentation of the opera in Stavovske Theatre in 1823 was such a success that Skroup decided to compose opera on his own. It was called Dratenik, often regarded as the first Czech opera (which is somehow doubtful considering the works of F.V. Mica a hundred years earlier). The opera was itroduced on 2nd Feb 1826 (Skroup himself sang the lead role) and was a big success. Skroup then wrote several other operas, ouvertures and theatral music but no other work was such a success - maybe just one more: music on the play of Josef Kajetan Tyl's play Fidlovacka with the song Kde domov muj (Where is my home) which later became the Czech national anthem. Since 1827 Skroup became the second "Kapellmeister" in Stavovske Theatre and 1837 he became the first. He was a good conductor and he managed to introduce a lot of top European classical pieces. He also composed patriotic songs and choirs. In 1836-45 he was an organist in Dusni Street Synagogue in Prague. In 1857 he was released from Stavovske Theatre due to disagreements with the director. In 1860 he took the position of the "kapellmeister" with the German Opera in Rotterdam. Two years after that he died.

Work: (operas, "Singspiels" and scenic music)
  • Dratenik , 1825
  • Oldrich a Bozena , 1828
  • Der Prinz und die Schlange (1829 in German; 1835 in Czech)
  • Die Drachenhöhle , 1832
  • Fidlovacka or No Anger No Scramble , 1834
  • Wedding of Libuse (1835, rewritten in 1850)
  • Pilgrimage to the Temple of Arts , 1846


Wikipedia (more detail in Czech)
Mala encyklopedie hudby (book dr. Jar. Smolka; &kolektiv, Supraphon 1983)
Kniha o hudbe (V.Holzknecht a kol., Orbis 1964)


Dobrou noc (MP3) (song on lyrics of Josef Chmelensky; Beno Blachut vocal, Alfred Holecek piano, Josef Hobik horns, Supraphon 1954)

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Last update 2012-07-04