Tag Archives: Joshua Oxley

A NIGHT OF CZECH OPERA @ ROCKDALE TOWN HALL

Featured image – Frances Carlile and Kate Wilmot.

Rockdale Opera Company’s production of THE BARTERED BRIDE, a comic Czech opera, is a fine night’s entertainment.

The original version of the opera by Bedrich Smetana premiered in Prague in 1886 with the first English version at Sadlers Wells in 1935.

Director Luise Napier has very successfully updated the words to suit the present day and apart from some judicious cuts musical director Julia de Plater has maintained the music as originally composed.

The road sign for kangaroos, koalas in the tree and a dunny ensure there can be no mistaking the setting has been changed from the original Bohemian country village to a rural town in Australia. This shift works very well as it is a small Czech community celebrating May Day.  Much of the original culture is preserved such as a czech folk dance around a may pole, yet comic highlights are added with touches such as the dancing koala and the occasional use of a broad Australian accent.

The story involves the secret love between Mařenka and Jenik but as the villagers gather to celebrate the festivities of the day these two do not join in as Mařenka’s parents are arranging her marriage to Vasek, wealthy grazier Micha’s son. Continue reading A NIGHT OF CZECH OPERA @ ROCKDALE TOWN HALL