Home Bedrich Smetana Opera `The Secret` (1877-1878)
The Secret (Czech: Tajemstvi) is a comic opera in three acts by Bedrich Smetana. The libretto was written by Eliska Krasnohorska. The premiere took place September 18, 1878 at the Nove Ceske...Read more
The Secret (Czech: Tajemstvi) is a comic opera in three acts by Bedrich Smetana. The libretto was written by Eliska Krasnohorska. The premiere took place September 18, 1878 at the Nove Ceske Divadlo (New Czech Theatre) in Prague.
Blazenka, Malina`s daughter - soprano
Bonifac, veteran soldier - bass
Vit, a huntsman, Kalina`s son - - tenor
Kalina, a councillor - baritone
Panna Roza, Malina`s sister - contralto
Malina, a councillor - bass
Skrivanek, a singer - tenor
Jirka, a bell-ringer - tenor
The Ghost of Barnabas - bass
An entrepreneur - baritone
The innkeeper - soprano
Chorus: Councillors, neighbours, boys and girls, threshers, bricklayers,
shadows and apparitions, bagpipers.
Twenty years before, Councillor Kalina had asked for the hand of Roza Malinova who turned him down because of his lack of wealth. Kalina then married a woman of similar status. Roza never married and regrets having rejected Kalina.
Kalina has had a house built for himself across the town square from the Malinas’. He is now widowed but puts on a show of wealth. He is unaware that his son Vitek has fallen in love with the daughter of his rival councillor, the brother of Roza. Kalina discovers by chance an ancient document and map which contain directions from an old friar Barnabas, how he might find treasure hidden under Mount Bezdez. As he is in debt, Kalina determines to take the prompts of the friar. However, the tunnel he digs leads him to underneath a room in the Malinas’ house, where his son has been making his farewells to his forbidden love Blazenka.
It becomes clear that the aim of the old Barnabas was to make Kalina discover his ‘treasure’: his old love Roza. The opera ends happily, with a double wedding.
The opera was not as successful as Smetana had hoped; after its opening run, it was seen only a dozen more times during his lifetime and was unperformed for twenty years after that. In 1922 it came back into the repertory of the Prague National Theatre.
Show records by: listenings count | performer's rating | alphabet
Prague National Theatre Orchestra
Zdenek Kosler (conductor)
Jaroslav Horacek (bass)
Vaclav Zitek (baritone)
Vera Soukupova (mezzo-soprano)
Jaroslav Horacek (Malina), Vaclav Zitek (Kalina), Vera Soukupova (Rose), Daniela Sounova (Blazenka), Leo Marian Vodicka (Vit), Karel Prusa (Bonifac), Oldrich Spisar (Skrivanek), Bohuslav Marsik (A Builder), Eva Hlobilova (The Innkeeper), Alfred Hampel (Jirka), Pavel Horacek (The Ghost of Friar Barnabas). horus and Orchestra - Prague National Theatre, choirmaster Milan Maly. Recorded at the Smetana Hall, Prague, from 8 September, 1981 to 22 April, 1982
Prague National Theatre Orchestra
Jaroslaw Krombholc (conductor)
Karel Kalas (bass)
Stefa Petrova (soprano)
Ivo Zidek (tenor)
Malina - Karel Kalas, Kalina - Premysl Koci, Rose - Stepanka Stepanova, Blazenka - Stefa Petrova, Vit - Ivo Zidek, Bonifac - Vladimir Jedenactik, Skrivanek - Oldrich Kovar, A Builder - Josef Krikava, The Innkeeper - Milada Cadikovicova, Jirka - Rudolf Vonasek, The Ghost of Friar Barnabas - Josef Rozanek. Chorus and Orchestra - Prague National Theatre. Conductor Jaroslav Krombholc. 1953
Prague 1945 Malina, konšel (Jaroslav Veverka), Kalina, konšel (Zdeněk Otava), Panna Róza, sestra Malinova (Marta Krásová), Blaženka, sestra Malinova (Marie Budíková), Vít, syn Kalinův, myslivec (Beno Blachut), Bonifác, vysloužilec, Kalinův výměnkář (Vladimír Jedenáctík), Skřivánek, zpěvák (Karel Hruška), Mistr zednický (Karel Kalaš), Hospodská (Miloslav