|Villa Amerika houses a museum dedicated to the life and works of Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904), one of the great Czech composers.|
Its most beautiful room, the Music Salon, also hosts glorious historical re-enactments entitled Wonderful Dvořák.
History of Villa Amerika
Villa Amerika was built between 1712-1720 by Kilian Ignac Dientzenhofer, and was the summer palace of Vaclav Michna. For two centuries this magnificent Baroque pleasure house attracted the aristocracy to its stylish interiors and well-manicured grounds.
In 1932 the Museum of Antonín Dvořák was established at Villa Amerika.
Dvořák was born near Prague, which at the time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was a composer of romantic music, his inspiration drawn from the idioms and melodies of Moravian and Bohemia folk music. He composed symphonic, choral and chamber music.
Dvořák's works include the New World Symphony, the Slavonic Dances, the American String Quartet and the Cello Concerto in B minor. He also wrote operas, of which the best known is Rusalka.
The museum collects, maintains and displays documents and personal effects chronicling the maestro's life and works. Exhibits comprise sheet music manuscripts and other written material, programmes, posters, works of art, period photographs, and personal objects and correspondence.
The museum draws admirers of Antonín Dvořák from all over the world. Although he spent most of his life in or near Prague, he lived for 3 years in America, working as the director of the National Conservatory of Music. He visited England 9 times, often conducting his own works. And influenced by Tchaikovsky, he conducted orchestras in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
From May to October, Villa Amerika presents a series of historical re-enactments / classical concerts entitled Wonderful Dvořák. These take place in the Music Salon, which boasts a wonderful ceiling fresco "Rise of Apollo" by Jan Ferdinand Schor and an imposing Baroque fireplace.
Performances are presented "living history" style, with the players dressed in period costume. The musicians/actors re-enact a scene from 1904 when Villa Amerika was still a summer house and where the master Antonín Dvořák is due to arrive at any moment…
For listings and to book tickets for Wonderful Dvořák, which also includes entry to the museum before the performance: Prague concerts.