Vytautas Klova (1926-2009) wrote six operas, which continued and significantly enriched the development of the national opera genre. Already his first opera Defenders of the Castle revealed his gift for melody and his creative maturity. This opera became very popular, and earned the composer a title of Classic of Lithuanian opera. Defenders of the Castle is the only Lithuanian opera that soon after its premiere (1956) has secured the permanent position in the repertoire of the National Opera and Ballet Theatre, was staged throughout Lithuania, and in Lithuanian Opera in Chicago (1994). Tuneful and close to the spirit of folk music compositions of Vytautas Klova are very popular among the performers and audiences alike, songs, arias and choirs from operas in particular.