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Estranged from his son Bohus, Count Vilem has fixed his affections on his nephew Adolf instead. Having spent some years in Paris Bohus brings his wife Julie back to the family chateau. Concealing their identity they watch the schoolmaster Benda with his daughter Terinka coming out of the church. With them is her suitor, the elderly and authoritarian Burgrave, and Jiri, the young forester who is really Terinka's preferred sweetheart. Bohus and Julie learn about the count's 'reckless son' and declare their own support from freedom. The Count is announced and proclaims Adolf his heir. In the schoolhouse Benda rehearses the choir for a festive cantata. He leaves for the chateau and Jiri sneaks back to Terinka and they declare their love for each other. Bohus and Julie appear seeking shelter and Benda agrees to conceal them. The Burgrave comes to woo Terinka and threatens his rival Jiri with enlistment in the army. Adolf appears and promises the Burgrave that he will promote him provided he captures the Jacobins rumoured to be in the village. Bohus comes out of hiding intending to frustrate Adolf's plan, only to find himself marched off to jail. He demands to be taken before the Count. The Count resists Benda's pleas on behalf of Bohus and Julie, their last hope, sings a song that the late Countess used to sing to her son. Moved by the lullaby he pays attention to her. She defends Bohus, pointing out that the rift between the Count and his son is the result of Adolf's plotting. The Count frees the prisoners, makes his peace with Bohus and Julie, and bestows his blessing on Terinka and Jiri. First performed on 12 February 1889 at the National Theatre, Prague. Sung in CzechPerformers Milan Burger (Count Vilem of Harasov), Andrij Breus (Bohus), Alessandro Grasso (Adolf), Tajana Monogarova), Lasha Nikabadze (Filip), Piotr Nowacki (Jiri), Alisdair Elliiot (Benda), Iwona Hossa (Terinka).
Music Dvorak. Lyrics Marie Cervinkova-Riegrova. Producer Wexford Festival Opera. Company Wexford Opera Chorus. Company National Philharmonic Orchestra of Belarus. Conductor Alexandre Voloschuk. Director Michael McCaffery. Design Paul Edwards. Lighting Giuseppe Di Iorio.
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