The First Two Viennese Productions of Prodaná nevěsta and Their Performers

Theater an der Wien 1893, Hofoper 1896

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Abstract

In June of 1892, Smetana’s Prodaná nevěsta (The Bartered Bride) was heard in Vienna for the first time as part of a guest appearance by the Czech National Theatre at the International Musical and Theatrical Exhibition. The clear success of the opera and of the performances of the National Theatre ensemble was reflected in the reviews of the Viennese critics, who were calling for German-language performances of Prodaná nevěsta on the stage of the Court Opera. On the basis of information from the archives of the Court Opera (Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv), one can document the reasons why, as it turned out, the first Viennese (and German-language) stage to produce the opera was the Theater an der Wien in April 1893, and why the premiere at the Court Opera did not occur until three years later. The study also devotes attention to the first performers for both productions of Prodaná nevěsta and to the circumstances of the two Viennese premieres, which opened up the pathway to other stages around the world after a thirty-year delay.

Musicalia

Journal of the Czech Museum of Music

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