Opera `The Kiss` (1875-1876, rev. 1877), JB 1:104 (Smetana)

Bedrich Smetana (1824–1884)

Opera `The Kiss` (1875-1876, rev. 1877), JB 1:104

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The Kiss (Czech: Hubicka) is an opera in two acts, with music by Bedrich Smetana and text by Eliska Krasnohorska, based on a novel by Karolina Svetla. It received its first performance at the...Read more
The Kiss (Czech: Hubicka) is an opera in two acts, with music by Bedrich Smetana and text by Eliska Krasnohorska, based on a novel by Karolina Svetla. It received its first performance at the Provisional Theatre in Prague on 7 November 1876

Paloucky, a peasant - bass-baritone
Vendulka, his daughter - soprano
Lukas, a young widower - tenor
Tomes, brother-in-law of Lukas - baritone
Martinka, Vendulka`s old aunt - contralto
Matous, an old smuggler - bass
Barce, a servant girl - soprano
A frontier guard - tenor

Act 1
Lukas, a peasant, has always been in love with Vendulka. Unfortunately for the young couple, his parents insisted that he marry another girl. However, his wife dies, leaving him with an infant. As they are both still young, Lukas intends to woo the very eligible Vendulka.
Paloucky, Vendulka`s father, opposes the match: he reasons that since both Lukas and Vendulka are stubborn people, they would make an incompatible couple. Vendulka is dismayed at his position, so Paloucky withdraws his objection, but his misgivings remain.
With friends and relatives in his wake, Lukas arrives at Paloucky`s home to formally make his intentions towards Vendulka known. Paloucky gives his blessing to the couple with a certain amount of reticence, which annoys Lukas. The young widower means to kiss Vendulka, she evades it, and, as Paloucky predicted, the couple are already arguing. Only a well-timed drinking song from one of Lukas`s kinsmen can stop the fight.
When Lukas and Vendulka are alone, he tries to kiss her again, but again he is rebuffed. It is near sundown and Vendulka spreads sand to see the tracks of Lukas` wife`s ghost, visiting her child. Vendulka believes that kissing Lukas before the wedding would disturb his wife`s ghost, who watches over her child. Vendulka refuses to kiss him until they are married. When he insists, she threatens to throw him out of the house. Incensed, he leaves.
Later, after falling asleep, Vendulka is awakened by the sound of a polka outside Paloucky`s home. It is Lukas, dancing with and kissing the village girls. Vendulka is both enraged and mortified, and swears to leave home.

Act 2
In a forest near the Bohemian frontier, a band of smugglers lies in waiting. Lukas, regretting his previous behavior, mourns the disappearance of Vendulka. Tomes, Lukas`s brother-in-law, tells him to apologize: he notes that while Vendulka is swift to anger, she is also swift to forgive. When they go off, the smugglers indicate that they have overheard, and they laugh at Lukas`s plight. They are waiting to meet Vendulka`s aunt, Martinka, who does business with the smugglers.
Martinka arrives with Vendulka, who is profoundly unhappy. The smugglers, however, like the audience, know that it will all turn out well in the end. After the smugglers leave, Martinka does her best to persuade Vendulka to return home.
The next morning, Lukas arrives at Martinka`s cottage, with his friends and relatives. He apologizes to Paloucky for his actions towards his daughter, and awaits Vendulka. When she arrives, both are overjoyed. She goes towards him, but first he publicly begs forgiveness before they finally kiss.


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Praha 1964 Otec Paloucký (Karel Berman), Vendulka, dcera Palouckého (Milada Šubrtová), Lukáš, mladý vdovec (Beno Blachut), Tomeš, Lukášův švagr (Jindřich Jindrák), Martinka, Vendulčina stará teta (Ivana Mixová), Barče, služka u Palouckých (Helena Tattermuschová), Matouš (Dalibor Jedlička), Strážník (Rudolf Vonásek). Pěvecký sbor (sbormistr Ladislav 

Paloucky - Karel Kalas (bass), Vendulka - Ludmila Cervinkova (soprano), Lukas - Beno Blachut (tenor), Thomas - Premysl Koci (bapitone), Martinka - Marta Krasova (mezzo-soprano), Matous - Vladimir Jedenactik (bass), Barce - Stefa Petrova (soprano), Guard - Karel Hruska (tenor). Chorus and Orchestra - Prague National Theatre. 1952



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