Free opera at Divoká Šárka

Smetana's Two Widows will play one show at the outdoor theater

In what has become a tradition, an opera will be shown for free in the natural theater at Divoká Šárka to mark the end of the summer holidays. The performance is Sept. 3 at 2 pm. This year it will be the comedy Two Widows (Dvĕ vdovy) by Bedřich Smetana, and it will be realized by Prague Original Music Theatre and performed by professionals from and the National Theatre. Last year's production of Dvořák's Rusulka was seen by 10,000 people.

The opera is directed by Jana Divišová a Renée Nachtigalová, and conducted by Jakub Chalupecký. Choreography is by Kateřina Dedková and costumes by Josef Jelínek.

The title roles are played by sopranos Jana Sibera and Dana Burešová, with support from Yukiko Šrejmová Kinjo, Aleš Briscein, Luděk Vele, Martin Šrejma and Jiří Kohout.

Renée Nachtigalová said she wants to promote Czech opera in particular, and the directors intend to “warm up” the opera a bit so people won't find it boring. Opera has been in Divoká Šárka in Prague 6 since 2005, but this is the first time for Two Widows. Previously, the Bartered Bride, Rusalka, The Jacobin and The Devil and Kate have been performed.

The play is well-suited to the natural surrounding, and the music is cheerful and playful, but at the same time challenging, Jana Divišová stated, adding that the company has its collective fingers crossed that all goes well.

The production will be in Czech, so reading a bit of the plot in advance may be helpful. The two-act opera, which premiered in Prague in 1874 at the National Theatre, takes it story from is Jean Pierre Felicien Mallefille's one-act play Les deux veuves. The libretto is by the libretto of Emanuel Züngel.

Two sisters are young widows at a Czech castle, and each is different. One is happy to be independent, the other is bereft due to mourning. The happy widow tries to direct the unwanted attentions of a suitor to her sister, but she is simply not having it. The gardener and the chambermaid at least appreciate what love is in a beautiful song at the end of the first act.

Things look up in the second act, but neither the suitor nor the unhappy sister wants to be the first to admit it. Will there be a happy ending? Take the tram to Divoká Šárka, or hike from metro stop Nádraží Veleslavín and find out.

More information in on the Facebook event page at www.facebook.com

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