Home Bedrich Smetana Opera `Dalibor`(1865-1867, rev. 1870)
Dalibor is a Czech opera in three acts by Bedrich Smetana. The libretto was written in German by Josef Wenzig, and translated into Czech by Ervin Spindler. It was first performed at the New Town...Read more
Dalibor is a Czech opera in three acts by Bedrich Smetana. The libretto was written in German by Josef Wenzig, and translated into Czech by Ervin Spindler. It was first performed at the New Town Theatre in Prague on 16 May1868. The opera received criticism at the time for being overly influenced by German opera, including that of Richard Wagner.
The subject of the opera is Dalibor of Kozojed (fl. c. 1490), a Czech knight who took part in an uprising in Ploskovice in support of the oppressed people and was sentenced to death in 1498, during the reign of Vladislas II. The plot bears a resemblance to that of Ludwig van Beethoven`s opera Fidelio, in that the central female characters in each opera disguise themselves in male clothing to try to save the hero.
Vladislav, Czech King (baritone)
Dalibor, a knight (tenor)
Budivoj, Commander of the castle guard (baritone)
Benes, the jailor (bass)
Vitek, one of Dalibor`s mercenaries (tenor)
Milada, sister of the burgrave of Ploskovice (soprano)
Jitka, a village maiden on Dalibor`s estate (soprano)
One of the judges (bass)
People, judges, mercenaries, chorus, silent
Time: Fifteenth century
Dalibor, a Czech Knight is on trial before the king for having murdered the burgrave of Ploskovice in revenge for execution of his friend Zdenek. At the trial, the king calls upon the burgrave’s sister, Milada, who demands his execution. As Dalibor is brought in, the crowd rises in support of him. When Dalibor tells of his friend’s capture and murder the court reduces his sentence from death to lifetime imprisonment. Milada painfully realized that she is falling in love with Dalibor, and in collusion with Jitka (an orphan befriended by the knight), she resolves to set him free.
Milada enters the prison disguised as a boy and finds employment with Dalibor’s jailer, Benes. She charms Benes into allowing her into dungeon where Dalibor is being held. The Knight greets her with jubilation and, in a passionate duet, they sing of their love for each other.
They plot to bribe Benes, but the jailer informs the king of their attempted escape. Taking the advice of his council, the king orders Dalibor’s death. Milada, waiting outside the prison, hears the tolling of the bell that signals Dalibor’s execution. Accompanied by her fallowers, she storms the castle, where, after rescuing Dalibor, she is wounded and dies in his arms. Dalibor stabs himself and is united in death with his beloved. (An alternative ending has Dalibor executed before Milada can rescue him.)
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Prague National Theatre Orchestra
Zdenek Kosler (conductor)
Leo Marian Vodicka (tenor)
Eva Urbanova (soprano)
Ivan Kusnjer (baritone)
Prague National Theatre Orchestra
Jaroslaw Krombholc (conductor)
Beno Blachut (tenor)
Marie Podvalova (soprano)
Karel Kalas (bass)
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Vladislav - Vaclav Bednar, Dalibor - Beno Blachut, Budivoj - Theodor Srubar, Benes - Karel Kalas, Vitek - Antonin Votava, Milada - Marie Podvalova, Jitka - Stefa Petrova. Chorus and Orchestra - Prague National Theatre, Conductor Jaroslav Krombholc. 1950
Added by: Andrusha , 25.04.2014 13:05