Opera Scotland

Adventures of Mr Brouček 1970National Theatre, Prague

Read more about the opera Adventures of Mr Brouček

This British premiere of Brouček featured notable performances by several of the leading members of the Czech company, many doubling or even tripling roles in the three contrasting locations, starting with the frame of contemporary Prague..  The imaginary moon sequence and the dreamscape for mediaeval Prague were cleverly differentiated.

Holding it all together, most importantly, was the veteran tenor Beno Blachut in the title role.  He had been the company's lead tenor and still at his peak during the 1964 visit.  By 1970 those romantic or heroic roles had been passed to his successors, but he could still dominate the stage in a congenial character part like this.

The company's chief conductor, the veteran Jaroslav Krombholc,  was every bit as sure-handed as with the two Smetana works.

 

Opera at the Edinburgh Festival - 1970

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.  When ENO gave a London staging a few years later, they decided that 'Adventures' was a more user-friendly English title, and that has stuck.  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.

In summary, the operas were:  Smetana (Bartered Bride Dalibor);   Janáček (Adventures of Mr Brouček,  Cunning Little Vixen,  Makropulos Case);  Prokofiev (Fiery Angel);  Henze (Elegy for Young Lovers).

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 np;  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.

Performance Cast

Matěj Brouček a landlord

Beno Blachut

Malínka the Sacristan's daughter

Helena Tattermuschová

Mazal an artist, in love with Malínka

Ivo Žídek

Sacristan of St Vitus' Cathedral

Dalibor Jedlička

Würfl landlord of the Vikárka inn

Karel Berman

Potboy at the inn

Marcela Lemariová

Novakova Mr Broucek's housekeeper

Jaroslava Procházková

Svatopluk Čech a Vision of the Author

Zdenĕk Otava

Etherea a muse

Helena Tattermuschová

Starry Eyes a devotee of Etherea (Blankytný)

Ivo Žídek

Lunobor a philosopher, Etherea's father

Dalibor Jedlička

Wonderglitter a patron of the Arts (Čaroskvoucí)

Karel Berman

Child Prodigy son of Wonderglitter

Marcela Lemariová

Dreamycloud a poet

Rudolf Jedlička

Rainbowglory a painter

Milan Karpíšek

Harper

Rudolf Vonásek

Kunka in love with Petrík

Helena Tattermuschová

Petřík a military leader

Ivo Žídek

Domšík of the Bell, Kunka's father

Dalibor Jedlička

City Councillor

Karel Berman

Scholar the Councillor's son

Marcela Lemariová

Kedruta Domšik's housekeeper

Jaroslava Procházková

Vašek the Beard

Rudolf Jedlička

Vojta of the Peacocks

Rudolf Vonásek

Míroslav the Goldsmith

Milan Karpíšek

First Taborite Priest

Jaroslav Horáček (Sep 5)

Jirí Schiller (Sep 9)

Second Taborite Priest

Rudolf Vonásek (Sep 5)

Lubomír Havlák (Sep 9)

Performance DatesAdventures of Mr Brouček 1970

Map List

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

5 Sep, 19.30 9 Sep, 19.30

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