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Photo: Derek Speirs
Tatiana Monogarova as Darota and Vicenc Esleve as Paseante in Damiano Michieletto's production for the Wexford Festival Opera (2003).

Weinberger, Jaromir

Schwanda the Bagpiper (1927)

(Svanda Dudak / Schwanda, der Dudelsackpfeifer)
Duration: 115 minutes
Folk opera in two acts

Libretto by Milos Kares (Cz,G)

Scoring
Major roles: dramS,heldT,Bar; minor roles: dramM,B; small roles: 5T,2B; chorus; 3(II,III=picc).2(II=corA).2(II=bcl).2(II=dbn)-4.3(=bugles).3.1- timp.perc(3): tgl/cyms/SD/BD/tam-t/tamb/xyl/glsp/carillon-2harp-cel-org- strings; Reduced scoring: 2(II=picc).2.2.2-3.2.2.0-timp.perc:3tgl/cyms/BD/SD/t am-t/susp.cym/xyl/tamb/chimes/t.bells-org-cel-pft(ad lib)-strings.
Abbreviations (PDF).


Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world excluding USA and Canada.



World Premiere
4/27/1927
National Theatre , Prague
Conductor: Otakar Ostrcil
Company: National Theatre, Prague

Roles

SCHWANDA THE BAGPIPERBaritone
DOROTA, his wifeDramatic Soprano
BABINSKY, a romantic robberHeldentenor
THE QUEENMezzo Soprano
THE MAGICIANBass
THE JUDGETenor
THE EXECUTIONERTenor
THE DEVILBass
THE DEVIL'S FAMILIAR SPIRITTenor
THE CAPTAIN OF HELL'S GUARDTenor
TWO FOREST RANGERSTenor, Bass


Time and Place
Fairytale setting


Synopsis

Schwanda, the finest bagpiper in the region, lives with his wife Dorota in great happiness. One day, however, the robber Babinski, who is being pursued by foresters, turns up at their home and receives a warm welcome. Schwanda hears Babinski's stories of other countries and great wealth with interest, and agrees to go with him to visit a sad Queen, in the spell of a wicked Magician, whom nothing can cheer up. With Babinski he soon arrives in the Queen's palace, where his music-making has the desired effect, making all the courtiers dance and the Queen herself smile. She is so pleased that she offers to marry him and – momentarily forgetting Dorota – he agrees. The marital plans are forestalled, however, when Dorota turns up. Schwanda is threatened with execution, but Babinski returns the prisoner his bagpipes with which he is able to escape. When Dorota asks him if he kissed the Queen, Schwanda replies that he will go to hell if he did – and instantly finds himself there. The devil tricks Schwanda into signing away his soul, but Babinski saves him by beating the devil at a game of cards. At last he can return home, but Babinski – who wants Dorota for himself – tells Schwanda that in his long absence she has become an old woman. This proves not to be the case, and she and Schwanda are finally reunited.


Moods
Comic


Subjects
Magic/Mystery, Relationships, Music/Arts


Recommended Recording
Matjaz Robavs/Tatiana Monogarova/Ivan Choupenitch/Larisa Kostyuk/Wexford Festival Opera Chorus/National Philharmonic Orchestra of Belarus/Julian Reynolds
Naxos 8.660146-47

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Schwanda the Bagpiper (Libretto)Libretto (German)> Details
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