Tag Archives: Smetana

Bartered Bride, Garsington, July 2023

This opera from the later days of the Austrian Empire, written in the local vernacular of the Czech lands, is a romp. Rather than the Germanic influence of Austria however this has the flavour of Czech folk music. It should be played with complete passion, and under the excellent baton of Jac van Steen it …

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Libuše, UCOpera, University College, UCL, Bloomsbury Theatre, March 2019

The wise Libuše, mythical founder of the Czech people, is the subject of this ‘festival’ opera that Smetana originally composed for the planned coronation of Austrian emperor Franz-Joseph as King of Bohemia in the early 1870s. That never happened, so he saved it for the opening of the National Theatre in Prague in 1881. Apart …

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