12:21 pm


I celebrated Czech Independence Day with a trip to Národní Divadlo, to see a performance of Smetana’s opera, Libuše. Národní Divadlo’s website says this about the opera:

Smetana’s Libuše, dealing with the mythical story of the fabled Czech princess who prophesies glory for the Czech nation, is inextricably linked with Czech history and that of the National Theatre, where on many occasions in the past it has been presented as a work quite extraordinary in its humanistic and social message. The title role has always been performed by the ensemble’s principal soloists. In the current production, Libuše is sung by the Czech soprano of world renown Eva Urbanová.

Urbanová, who sang Libuše, was excellent, and I also especially liked Martin Bárta, who sang Přemysl. The opera itself was a great favorite with the Czech audience, who enthusiastically applauded Libuše’s first act prayer, invoking the blessings of the gods on the Czech nation, as well as the series of prophecies that closes the opera, concluding with the line, "My beloved Czech nation will not perish; gloriously she will vanquish the terrors of hell!"

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