In Antonín Dvořák's opera work, his fifth opera The Cunning Peasant belongs to the wrongly neglected ones today. The libretto for this comic opera, whose plot is set in the Domažlice region in the 18th century, was written by Josef Otakar Veselý.
Dvořák turned it into his first operatic masterpiece. His music overcomes even the weaknesses of a rather naive libretto, which cannot deny being inspired by The Bartered Bride and The Marriage of Figaro. A young girl Bětuška is pushed by her father to marry a man she does not love. The father, a rich farmer called Martin, does not support his daughter's relationship with a poor country lad Jeník. And it is all made more complicated by the Prince, who takes liking to pretty Bětuška and promises her, for an evening rendezvous, an intervention with her father and a farm for her and her Jeník on top of that. After several entanglements everything is explained and eventually turns out well. The Cunning Peasant was last performed in Pilsen in 1954 and it is high time to return this important Dvořák's work to the repertory.
Premiere on 8 June 2019 at the Grand Theatre.