Krasa's rediscovered opera

January 04, 1996|By Stephen Wigler

In 1933, when George Szell conducted the world premiere in Prague of Hans Krasa's opera, "Betrothal in a Dream," the work was hailed as a masterpiece. But within five years, the Nazis seized power in Czechoslovakia, the work was banned, and Krasa, who was Jewish, died in Auschwitz in 1944 at the age of 45.

The comic romantic opera, which was based on a Dostoevsky novella, was believed lost but was rediscovered in 1994.

The Washington Opera will present "Betrothal in a Dream" starting this weekend.

The Washington Opera and the United States Holocaust Museum also will jointly present lectures, discussions, behind-the-scenes tours and special rehearsals. The events will be held at the Kennedy Center and the Holocaust Museum.

The opera begins Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theatre, with performances to continue through Feb. 10. Tickets are $52-$175. For tickets and information, call (202) 416-7800 or 1-800-87-OPERA. For information on the other programs connected with the opera, call (202) 416-7831.

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