Josef Myslivecek

By Alena Skodova.

Welcome to Czechs in History. In today's edition I'll tell you about a famous 18th century Czech composer, Josef Myslivecek, who spent most of his life in Italy, known there as the ingenious 'Il Boemo' and a composer of more than 40 operas for the most popular opera houses in all the big Italian cities.

As associate professor of musicology Jarmila Gabrielova from the Philosophical faculty of Charles University told me, Myslivecek was born to a well-off family, but none of his relatives had anything to do with music..... And it might have been Josef Seger himself, who - after hearing some of the symphonies Mysliveck composed under his leadership, advised him to try his luck abroad. And Myslivecek took his advice seriously. Myslivecek became settled down in Italy and his composing career took off. He became the darling of all famous opera houses throughout the country: At that time, Leopold Mozart and young Wolfgang Amadeus were travelling in Europe, and the two also met with Myslivecek, although their friendship did not last long: But as we hear from associate professor Jarmila Gabrielova, the end of Myslivecek's life was very sad: Although Myslivecek was a charming man, undoubtedly beloved by many, little is know about his private life: As we've heard, Myslivecek wrote around 45 operas, but I myself have never noticed one being included in the programme of Czech opera houses. Mr. Gabrielova gives the reason why: