The Bartered Bride
Typical Czech humour, guileful self-mockery, but also sympathy, compassion, kindness – by and large: joie de vivre!
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The National TheatreApproximate running time
3 hours, 2 intermission 20 minutesLanguage
In Czech, subtitles in Czech, EnglishPremiere
September 25, 2008
Bedřich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride is a true evergreen of Czech theatre and music. Every single Czech should see the opera at the National at least once! Depicting the story of calculating, ridiculous, but also sincerely loving figures from a small Czech village, the piece has been staged for more than 150 years, enthralling generations and always winning new fans. If you are still not among them, come and see the opera for yourself!
National Theatre Chorus
National Theatre Orchestra
National Theatre Opera Ballet
Continuo Theatre members under the leading of the Artistic Director Pavel Štourač
Dancers and members of the Prague Philharmonic Children’s Choir
Set to Karel Sabina’s comic libretto, Bedřich Smetana endowed his music with jest and wit, hyperbole, cheerful energy and moving ardour. No other composer had previously succeeded in conceiving an opera possessing such a natural, while original, Czech tone. That is why The Bartered Bride has deservedly been deemed the founding work of modern Czech opera and, by extension, Czech music in general. The piece soon exceeded the domestic framework and became a permanent part of the world’s opera repertoire.
The 20th National Theatre production of one of the most famous Czech operas is, for the first time in our history, directed by a woman. Magdalena Švecová has chosen neither the path of provocative or divisive interpretation, nor that of conventional imitation of outdated models. The Bartered Bride’s burlesque yet highly moving story is grasped with an understanding for the long-gone order (disorder) of human lives in the Czech village. The production’s forcibility is enhanced by Zuzana Přidalová’s costumes, inspired by plant and animal motifs, and Ladislava Košíková’s choreography, charged with energy and verve.
Photo: Hana Smejkalová
Photo and video gallery
Where to buy tickets
The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. On 1 December at 9am we started selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika until the end of May 2023.
Parking at the National Theater
What to wear?
By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.
Buffets at the National Theater
No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!
Menu (PDF, 70 kB)