Opera Scotland

Bartered Bride 1970National Theatre, Prague

Read more about the opera Bartered Bride

1970 saw a very successful mix of operas at the Festival. The Czechs from Prague's National Theatre, returning after the success of their 1964 visit, once more brought five productions. There was again a British premiere, The Excursions of Mr Brouček. The others were the popular Bartered Bride, Dalibor (repeated from 1964), and two works familiar in London, but new to Scotland - The Cunning Little Vixen and The Makropulos Case. or Affair as it was billed here. The two other Festival operas were also great rarities. Proceedings opened with the Frankfurt Opera, who brought their controversial staging of Prokofiev's Fiery Angel. The director and designer were the Czech pair responsible for Dalibor (and the 1964 Rusalka). Scottish Opera's excellent contribution was just as enterprising - Henze's acerbic Elegy for Young Lovers, directed by the composer himself.

The Festival's opera schedule was as follows:

First week, commencing 24 Aug: Mon Fiery Angel; Tue Elegy for Young Lovers; Wed Fiery Angel; Thu Elegy for Young Lovers; Fri -; Sat Elegy for Young Lovers.

Second week, commencing 31 Aug: Mon Bartered Bride; Tue Dalibor; Wed Cunning Little Vixen; Thu Makropulos Case; Fri Bartered Bride; Sat Excursions of Mr Brouček.

Third week, commencing 7 Sep: Mon Dalibor; Tue Makropulos Case; Wed Excursions of Mr Brouček; Thu Cunning Little Vixen; Fri Bartered Bride; Sat Dalibor.

When the Prague National Theatre paid its first visit to Edinburgh in 1964, the omission of The Bartered Bride, with its iconic position as the national opera, may have seemed surprising. But it had been featured regularly in tours by Sadler's Wells, and was not as rare as the other works the company brought. By 1970, the situation had changed, and The Bartered Bride had been dropped from the Sadler's Wells repertoire for a decade or so, without being taken up by anyone else.

This staging was undoubtedly authentic, and traditional almost to a fault. The result seems to have been that people who already knew the work well found it dull. However for many it was an unknown quantity, so to see it for the first time idiomatically conducted by Krombholc and with a cast of company regulars was a great benefit to most.

Performance Cast

Krušina a peasant

Jindřich Jindrák

Ludmila Krušina's wife

Štĕpánka Jelínková

Mařenka their daughter

Daniela Šounová (Aug 31; Sep 4)

Marcela Machotková (Sep 11)

Tobias Mícha a prosperous peasant farmer

Zdenĕk Otava

Háta Micha's second wife

Jaroslava Procházková

Vašek son of Micha and Háta

Milan Karpíšek (Aug 31; Sep 11)

Oldřich Lindauer (Sep 4)

Jeník Micha's son by his first wife

Ivo Žídek

Kecal a marriage broker

Eduard Haken

Ringmaster

Rudolf Vonásek

Esmeralda a dancer

Nada Šormová

Indian a circus artist

Otakar Havránek (Aug 31; Sep 11)

Jan Hadraba (Sep 4)

Performance DatesBartered Bride 1970

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

31 Aug, 19.30 4 Sep, 19.30 11 Sep, 19.30

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