Opera Scotland

Adventures of Mr Brouček 2010Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Adventures of Mr Brouček

Scottish Opera's 2009/10 season contained four full main-stage productions plus one small-scall-tour. The two works the company had never touched before were the young Rossini's frothy Italian Girl in Algiers and Leoš Janáček'a Adventures of Mr Brouček. The two revivals were an ultra-traditional Elisir d'amore and an ultra-modern Bohème. There was also  a piano-accompanied tour of a second Janáček piece, Kátya Kabanová.

There were some additional elements, however, including a third programme of new short chamber pieces under the 5:15 umbrella. There was also a 'Scenes & Arias' tour by four  young singers and a pianist, the old Essential Scottish Opera format now revised as Opera Highlights. There was a new 'Interactive Opera for 3 to 6 Year Olds', entitled Auntie Janet Saves The Planet. Two well-contrasted co-productions also featured. Music Theatre Wales brought a new chamber piece by Eleanor Alberga, Letters of a Love Betrayed, while the RSAMD joined forces with the orchestra and technical staff of Scottish Opera to mount the Scottish premiere of Prokofiev's wonderful Tolstoy adaptation War and Peace.

When, between 1977-1987, Scottish Opera mounted a series of five of Janáček's operas in conjunction with Welsh National Opera, this rarity was not included.

It was good therefore to see a collaboration with Opera North bringing the work to Scotland for the first time since the British premiere in 1970. Adventures of Mr Brouček (more correctly translated as Excursions) may not be a masterpiece, but there is plenty of good stuff in it and it should be performed far more often.

Another source of pleasure was the presence of Donald Maxwell returning to his roots after too long a gap. Surprisingly, Frances McCafferty was only making her first appearance with Scottish Opera, after several years working down south. John Graham-Hall also gave a masterly performance in the awkward title role. The rest of the cast combined to give a rewarding account of this too rarely played oddity.

One feature that separates this from most of the composer's other operas is the requirement for a large chorus. Since Scottish Opera no longer employed such an asset on a permanent basis, it was necessary to transport the Chorus of Opera North up from Leeds - and very good they were, too. Several of them were familiar names who used to work with Scottish Opera in the past, and a small group of Scottish Opera regulars also joined in.

Performance Cast

Matěj Brouček a landlord

John Graham-Hall

Malínka the Sacristan's daughter

Anne Sophie Duprels

Mazal an artist, in love with Malínka

Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts

Sacristan of St Vitus' Cathedral

Jonathan Best

Würfl landlord of the Vikárka inn

Donald Maxwell

Potboy at the inn

Claire Wild

Novakova Mr Broucek's housekeeper

Frances McCafferty

Poet a student

Richard Burkhard

Painter a student

Philip O'Brien

Composer a student

Adrian Dwyer

Svatopluk Čech a Vision of the Author

Grant Doyle

Etherea a muse

Anne Sophie Duprels

Starry Eyes a devotee of Etherea (Blankytný)

Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts

Lunobor a philosopher, Etherea's father

Jonathan Best

Wonderglitter a patron of the Arts (Čaroskvoucí)

Donald Maxwell

Child Prodigy son of Wonderglitter

Claire Wild

Housekeeper

Frances McCafferty

Dreamycloud a poet

Richard Burkhard

Rainbowglory a painter

Philip O'Brien

Harper

Adrian Dwyer

Kunka in love with Petrík

Anne Sophie Duprels

Petřík a military leader

Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts

Domšík of the Bell, Kunka's father

Jonathan Best

City Councillor

Donald Maxwell

Scholar the Councillor's son

Claire Wild

Kedruta Domšik's housekeeper

Frances McCafferty

Vašek the Beard

Richard Burkhard

Vojta of the Peacocks

Philip O'Brien

Míroslav the Goldsmith

Adrian Dwyer

First Taborite Priest

Paul Gibson

Second Taborite Priest

Arwel Price

Performance DatesAdventures of Mr Brouček 2010

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

8 Apr, 19.15 10 Apr, 19.15

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

14 Apr, 19.15 16 Apr, 19.15

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