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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

VOJAN SINGING SOCIETY

VOJAN SINGING SOCIETY

The VOJAN SINGING SOCIETY was founded in 1924 as a dramatic society under the aegis of the WORKERS GYMNASTIC UNION (Delnicke Telecvicne Jednoty, DTJ). The DTJ Karl Marx Dramatic Society having disbanded in 1923, a group of CZECHS interested in dramatic arts and in preserving the Czech culture founded the new society. It was named after Czech character actor Eduard Vojan, well known for his portrayals of the actual lives of the peasants in Central Europe. Its first presentation was a play called Zlate Casy, which was performed in Feb. 1925 at the BOHEMIAN NATL. HALL. Internationally known plays such as Karel Capek's R.U.R. were also performed by the society. All plays were performed in Czech with the exception of The Golden Trail, which was performed in English in 1932. Later a choral group was organized, with Joseph Krabec as its music director until his death in 1961. With Rudolph Sliva, Krabec composed the Vojan March, which was sung at all events in which the society participated. The most successful musical production of the Vojan Society was Smetana's The Bartered Bride. First presented in 1934, it was repeated many times until 1959, in Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Chicago as well as in Cleveland. The Choral Society participated in many local cultural events and performed on local radio and television stations. Although the Vojan Society stopped performing plays in the late 1960s, the Singing Society continued to make annual appearances every July at the DTJ Taborville Settlement in Auburn Corners. In 1993 it numbered 35-40 members.


Frank Bardoun Papers, WRHS.