Operní adaptace Babičky Boženy Němcové

Title in English Operatic Adaptations of Božena Němcová's Babička

VONKOVÁ Kristina

Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Acta Universitatis Palackianae Olomucensis. Facultas Philosophica. Philosophica- Aesthetica. Musicologica Olomucensia.
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web http://new.musicologicaolomucensia.upol.cz/contentsabstracts/
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.5507/mo.2021.022
Keywords Adaptations; Antonín Vojtěch Horák; Babička; Karel Kovařovic; librettos; Na starém bělidle; opera
Description Adaptations of prose works to the form of opera librettos are quite frequent, but the resulting operas are observed from a musical point of view much more often than from a literary and comparative one. Th is paper seeks to expand this area of research and consider some aspects that need to be included in further observations. Th e research is based on a comparison of two operatic adaptations of Babička by Božena Němcová. One of them is Babička by the librettist Adolf Wenig and the composer Antonín Vojtěch Horák, which was premiered in 1900 at the Prague National Th eatre; the other is Na Starém bělidle by the librettist Ka- rel Šípek and the composer Karel Kovařovic, presented at the same venue in 1901. Both are based on the same template, yet each of them processes this template in a diff erent way and (according to contemporary criticism) otherwise success- fully. Wenig tries to include as much content as possible from the original short story, while Šípek only selects certain images, which he then elaborates more consistently. Th is also infl uenced the fate of each opera—Kovařovic’s Na starém bělidle was played for another fi fty years throughout Czechia and its quality was refl ected many times in the period press, while Horák’s Babička received only several not very laudatory reviews and soon fell into oblivion. In addition to opi- nions of the time about operas and the methods of narrative transformation, the paper elaborates on the usage of folk songs in operas. Th e main research source in this area is the Prostonárodní písně a říkadla by Karel Jaromír Erben, which contains a large number of lyrics and melodies later used in the operas.
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