Opera Zrinyi Augusta Abramovića Adelburga

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Babić, Petra


Odjeci bitke kod Sigeta i mita o Nikoli Šubiću Zrinskom u umjetnosti = The Impact of the Battle of Szigetvár and the Myth of Nikola Šubić Zrinjski on the Arts (Music, Visual Arts, Literature), Zagreb : Hrvatsko muzikološko društvo, Croatia (2018)




August Abramović Adelburg, libreto, likovi kao alegorija nacije, opera Zrinyi, psihološka karakterizacija likova


August Abramović Adelburg composed the opera Zrinyi for the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Szigetvâr in 1866. It is the first such piece in the Croatian musical literature and the third of six pieces for musical stage whose libretto was written after Theo¬dor Körner's drama Zrinyi (Kleinheinz, Gläser, Adelburg, Zajc, de Vleeshouwer, Weill). But, since the Zagreb theatre could not perform it due to the lack of infrastructure (Zrinyi is grand opera in five acts with 12 characters, a large male and female chorus and a large orchestra), Adelburg offered the opera to the Pest theatre, Magyarising some aspects of its libretto (Zrin¬ski and his soldiers are explicitly called Hungarians) and its music (the folk dance of girls and soldiers has some elements of csârdâs) for the Hungarian audience. Ten years later Ivan Zajc composed Nikola Šubić Zrinjski and achieved a great triumph at its Zagreb premiere. Until this day, in the perception of the Croatian cultural public in general, Zrinjski remained the (only) Croatian opera celebrating Nikola Zrinski and the Battle of Szigetvär. This paper compares the two operas, especially their librettos. It analyses Adelburg's psychological characteriza¬tion, the human values which the two composers saw as the most important, the different musical depiction of the opposing sides (in doing so Adelburg showed the Ottoman world to be much more exotic than Zajc did), the different intensity of personal conflict between Niko¬la Zrinski and Sultan Suleyman, and it investigates the usage of certain characters as national allegories.