By David Salazar
The National Moravian-Silesian Theater is set to present Smetana’s famed “The Bartered Bride” starting on Dec. 15, 2022.
Marek Šedivý conducts with Jiří Nekvasil directs the production. The opera will star Soňa Godarská and Veronika Rovná as Mařenka, Canadian tenor Philippe Castagner as Jeník, and František Zahradníček as Kecal.
“The Bartered Bride has been considered the Czech national opera for several generations. But Smetana never, with one exception, quotes a folk song in his entire operatic oeuvre. He achieves the character of Czechness by using the rhythms of Czech dances (polka, furiant, skočná). All the opera’s 24 numbers are a torrent of unceasing musical invention that would be enough for a dozen musicals—the better ones—by today’s musical authors. One could say that each musical number of The Bartered Bride is a hit! To sum it up, theatricality, playfulness, changeability, movement, colour, humour, poetry, irony, and kindness are the basic starting points and hallmarks of our production, letting it be obvious from the overture. Accompanying the stage action, the overture exposes the manner of our theatrical narrative: everything that happens hereafter will be created and transformed before the eyes of the audience,” said Nekvasil in an official press statement.
There will be an additional performance scheduled for Dec. 17, 2022. Both performances will take place at the Antonín Dvořák Theatre in Ostrava.