Bard SummerScape 2017 To Showcase Rare Dvorák Opera

By David Salazar

The Bard SummerScape 2017 season has been announced. While focus is being placed on a Chopin celebration, there is something truly special for those looking for opera.

The opera portion of the festival will feature a revival of a rare opera by Antonín Dvorák. The opera in question is “Dimitrij,” which rarely ever gets performed outside of the Czech Republic. The work received its U.S. concert premiere in 1984. Dvorák composed it with interruption between 1881 and 1882 when it received its first performance. Many revisions later, the opera’s final version debuted in 1892.

“Dimitrij” is set in 17th century Russia picking up where Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” left off. The story explores the polarization in Russia as the people are split between following the Godunov family and the presumed son of Ivan the Terrible, Dimitrij. Of course, Dimitrij is mistaken in his belief that he is the natural heir and leads the Polish army into Moscow. He falls in love with Godunov’s daughter, creating both disarray on numerous levels.

The new production will be directed by Anne Bogart, a 1974 Bard alumna, whose many accolades include two “Best Director” Obies and the Jesse L. Rosenberger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Creative & Performing Arts. The American Symphony Orchestra will be led by Leon Botstein with performances starting on July 28 and running through August 6.