Opus marks centenary of death of Josip Ipavec with edition dedicated to the Ipavec family

03. 02. 2021

With the centenary of the death of composer Josip Ipavec falling on 8 February this year, 2021 has been proclaimed Ipavec Year. In honour of this important anniversary, the January edition of Opus (a television programme dedicated to classical music) on TV Slovenia 1 was dedicated to the Ipavec family of physicians and musicians, who left a deep mark on the music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

You will hear fragments of some of their most famous and best-loved compositions and reflections on the Ipavec family from the people of their native Šentjur. Also from Šentjur is historian and librettist Igor Grdina, who has spent a number of years researching the Ipavec family and whose monograph on Josip Ipavec is due to be published this year. The seventh child of Gustav Ipavec, Josip studied medicine in Graz and then served for a few months as an army doctor in Vienna while simultaneously studying instrumentation with Alexander Zemlinsky, then first Kapellmeister of the Vienna Volksoper. As a composer, Josip was chiefly interested in purely artistic challenges. His best-known work is the pantomime Možiček [“The Manikin”], the first Slovene ballet, which enjoyed several successful performances in Graz, Trieste, Olomouc and elsewhere. Ipavec searched in vain for opportunities to stage a complete performance of his largest-scale work, the operetta Princesa Vrtoglavka [“The Dizzy Princess”], with a libretto by Mara Čop von Berks. The operetta would not be performed in full until long after his death – at the Slovene National Theatre (SNG) in Maribor in 1997.

Ipavec also composed a number of songs for voice and piano. Hoping to achieve more success with settings of German poems, he mainly chose German texts, but unfortunately his Lieder failed to find a publisher. He also composed some settings of Slovene poetry. For Opus, the opera singer Urška Arlič Gololičič performs Josip’s song V tujini [“Abroad”] accompanied by Marko Hribernik, the current artistic director of the Ljubljana Opera.

As well as January’s edition of Opus, you can view a repeat of the SNG Opera Maribor performance of Princesa Vrtoglavka at 8.40 p.m. on Prešeren Day (8 February) on TV Slovenia 1.

Source: rtvslo.si