Frano Parać Judita



From 04. October 2024.

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Fri 19:30
Sat 18:00
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Tue 19:30
Sat 18:00
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In the year in which we are marking the 500th death anniversary of Marko Marulić, the father of Croatian literature, the first premiere is Judita , a successful opera work of the Croatian composer and academician Frano Parać and in a way a rarity among contemporary Croatian operas not only because of the exceptional audience reception, but also because of the number of revivals that have followed the world opening night. Judita is the first literary epic in Croatian language written by our Split Virgil, who was corresponding with Pope Adrian IV, whose script was being read by Thomas More in the dungeon, whose script from 1529 was privately owned by Henry VIII and preserved with numerous royal personal marginalia. Francis de Sales carried with him Marulić’s collection of cautionary tales Institutions. Judita was written in 1501 and published on April 22, 1521. This date was pronounced the Croatian Book Day.

Judita of Marulić and Parać thematises a story taken from the biblical Book of Judith about a beautiful widow from Bethulia who decides to seduce and kill the Assyrian general Holoferness and save the Jewish people. In the camp of the Assyrian army, she urges Holoferness to conquer Bethulia and Holoferness, blinded by Judith’s beauty and wisdom prepares a feast for her. When left alone with the drunk Holoferness, Judith murders him with his sword and takes his head for proof.

Judita, the most brilliant jewel of our literature that Marulić presented to the people at the time of Turkish invasions, as an example what faith in God and justice can achieve, Parać performs in two acts and seven scenes. Parać, using the dramatization of Judita by Marin Carić in cooperation with Tonko Maroević, awarded the role of the librettist to himself uniting Wagner’s ideal of the composer-librettist. After the world opening night, critic Miljenko Grgić wrote how the »currents of exaltation at the end of the performance have flown into a unique exclamation to the genius of Marulić (to whom we owe the literary model), but also to Parać, the creator of the opera, whose safe future was secured by the act of the magic performance«. Parać’s Judita, in the dramaturgical and music treatment of the plot, is a clear and rounded whole unified by Marulić’s prose that Parać knew how to transfer into his poetical language.

The new production of Judita, directed by Snježana Banović with Ivan Josip Skender as conductor will present this unprecedented opera that can stand side by side opera achievements in contemporary music.