GLASBENA MATICA is one of America's most highly regarded Slovenian choruses, having presented operas and classical works at the SLOVENIAN NATL. HOME on St. Clair Ave. It originated in 1930 as Samostojna (Independent) Zarja, an offshoot of the ZARJA SINGING SOCIETY. Samostojna Zarja was made up of many of the original group's strongest talents and led by JOHN IVANUSCH, director of the original group and its other offshoot, Socialisticna (Socialist) Zarja. Samostojna Zarja debuted with a Slovenian folk opera and reprised the work for the Theater of Nations festival at PUBLIC AUDITORIUM. Throughout the 1930s, concerts alternated with staged works such as Ivanusch's Turjaska Rozamunda, Smetana's Hubicka in Czech, and a Croatian opera. A 1932 performance of Flotow's Martha, with a cast of 80, was acclaimed by the CLEVELAND PRESS as one of the best musical productions of the year. Ivanusch resigned in 1940, and the group changed its name to Glasbena Matica (the Music Society). Anton Schubel of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus directed for 2 years, followed by local poet and composer IVAN ZORMAN. Schubel returned in 1949 and resumed regular productions of standard operas in Slovenian, such as Carmen, La Traviata, Mignon, and The Tales of Hoffman. A new generation of singers included June Price, Ann Safred, and Edward Kenik. After Schubel's death in 1965, the chorus was led by Valentina Fillinger and then by Vladimir Maleckar in semi-annual concerts, recordings, and 2 tours to Slovenia in 1966 and 1978. In 1995 the 35-voice chorus was directed by Thomas Weiss and Olga Klancher served as president.

Frank, Molly. Glasbena Matica 50th (1980).

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