From the Styriarte Festival in Graz, Nikolaus Harnoncourt leads the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in a performance of Smetana's comic opera The Bartered Bride.
Louise Fryer presents the Thursday Opera Matinee, which this week features an unusual version of Smetana's The Bartered Bride in German translation. Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts the Chamber Orchestra of Europe with an all-star cast at his Styriarte Festival in Graz, Austria in 2011.
Considered a major contribution towards the development of Czech music, The Bartered Bride is a comic opera which was premiered in Prague on 30 May 1866. Set in a country village, it tells the story of how, after a late surprise revelation, true love prevails over the combined efforts of ambitious parents and a scheming marriage broker. Czechs think of the opera as quintessentially Czech in spirit: it features many folk-like dances such as the polka and the furiant. This recording from last year's Styriarte Festival in Graz, Austria is the first production of the opera in the German translation by Emanuel Züngel who was commissioned directly by Smetana to translate the libretto.
After the first two acts of the opera today (you can hear Act 3 tomorrow) there's more from recent concerts by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, including Tchaikovsky's famous Rococo Variations.
Smetana: Die verkaufte Braut (The Bartered Bride), Acts I & II
Krusina ..... Anton Scharinger (baritone)
Ludmila ..... Elisabeth Kulman (mezzo)
Marenka ..... Dorothea Roschmann (soprano)
Micha ..... Yasushi Hirano (bass)
Hata ..... Elisabeth von Magnus (mezzo)
Vasek ..... Markus Schafer (tenor)
Jenik ..... Kurt Streit (tenor)
Kecal ..... Ruben Drole (bass)
Pricnicpal komediantu ..... Heinz Zednik (tenor)
Esmeralda ..... Bibiana Nwobilo (soprano).
Arnold Schoenberg Chorus,
Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor).
Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations
Pieter Wispelwey (cello),
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
Stefan Blunier (conductor).