Opera comique in three acts (1866)

Composer Bedrich Smetana · Libretto by Karel Sabina
In German with German and English surtitles | New Production

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Tomáš Hanus (12-22-2018, 12-25-2018, 12-29-2018, 12-31-2018, 01-03-2019, 01-06-2019, 07-22-2019, 01-10-2020, 01-12-2020, 01-15-2020, 01-18-2020) , Wolf-Michael Storz (07-19-2019)
David Bösch
Set Design
Patrick Bannwart
Costume Design
Falko Herold
Michael Bauer
Sören Eckhoff (12-22-2018, 12-25-2018, 12-29-2018, 12-31-2018, 01-03-2019, 01-06-2019, 07-19-2019, 07-22-2019) , Stellario Fagone (01-10-2020, 01-12-2020, 01-15-2020, 01-18-2020)
Rainer Karlitschek
Lukas Leipfinger

Kruschina, ein Bauer
Oliver Zwarg
Kathinka, seine Frau
Helena Zubanovich
Marie, beider Tochter
Selene Zanetti
Micha, Grundbesitzer
Kristof Klorek (12-22-2018, 12-25-2018, 12-29-2018, 12-31-2018, 01-03-2019, 01-06-2019, 01-10-2020, 01-12-2020, 01-15-2020, 01-18-2020) , Levente Páll (07-19-2019, 07-22-2019)
Agnes, seine Frau
Irmgard Vilsmaier
Wenzel, beider Sohn
Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke
Hans, Michas Sohn aus erster Ehe
Pavol Breslik
Kezal, Heiratsvermittler
Günther Groissböck
Springer, Direktor einer wandernden Künstlertruppe
Ulrich Reß
Esmeralda, Tänzerin
Anna El-Khashem (12-22-2018, 12-25-2018, 12-29-2018, 12-31-2018, 01-03-2019, 01-06-2019, 07-19-2019, 07-22-2019) , Mirjam Mesak (01-10-2020, 01-12-2020, 01-15-2020, 01-18-2020)
Muff, ein als Indianer verkleideter Komödiant
Oğulcan Yilmaz
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
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Seeing his love succeed against the will of the parents is pretty difficult in a rural setting. Especially when he is also considered an outsider, things do not look good with the parents-in-law, and there's a lot of money in the mix as well. But what Hans negotiates with Kezal the marriage broker, without discussing it with his beloved Marie, certainly requires a very special kind of chutzpah, and it very nearly goes all wrong – bartering his loved one to a certain person, which turns out through rhetorical trickery to be himself, only becomes evident as a good idea at the end. Which once again proves: The comedy is only a tragedy avoided at the very last minute.
The story from Smetana's successful opera The Bartered Bride of 1866 evolved into a hit around the globe via something of a detour – it is not the Czech original that made it into the repertoire, but rather and in particular the German translation by Max Kalbeck, which has the right popular song qualities. And the interplay between seriousness and comedy is as if made for director David Bösch, who is more than happy with ..., "I know a girl, she's got the money".

It is spring and the villagers are celebrating heartily at the church fair. Praising the joys of young love, they do, however, warn of the monotony that can appear all too quickly in married life. Marie bemoans to her lover Hans that she, at the behest of her parents, shall be wedded to an unknown man today. Hans attempts to calm her and encourages her to resist her parents’ wishes. Marie feels no better, but swears her love for Hans. She would remain his forever, if only her parents did not force her to wed another man. Hans’ placidity leads Marie to the belief that his love for her is not serious. She asks her lover about his origins and background, and he replies by saying that he is from a prosperous family. After the death of his mother, his father took a new wife and Hans was banished from the court. Hans laments his mother’s passing, and Marie comforts him. The young couple reassure each other of their reciprocal love. Marie’s parents, Kruschina and Kathinka, consult the marriage broker Kezal. He praises his own style of mediation and ensures Marie’s parents of the legitimacy of planning Marie’s wedding without her consent. Kezal reminds Kruschina that years ago he already promised Tobias Micha that his son may marry his daughter. Kathinka scolds her man for agreeing to give away their daughter without her consent. Marie will not back down. While Kruschina and Kezal press for the marriage, Marie reveals her love for Hans. She does not accept the contract signed between Kezal and her father. Kezal suggests that Kruschina meet Tobias Micha so that the two fathers may discuss the situation. Meanwhile, the villagers continue to drink and dance.

As the men enjoy their beer, Hans drinks to his happiness. Kezal swears by the value of money. Tobias Micha’s son Wenzel wants to free himself from his mother’s contract and collect his bride Marie, clearly out of his depth. He meets Marie, who recognises him instantly as her chosen groom. She warns him of his future bride, her love for another and how she will torment him to death. She invents a secret admirer for him and entices him to make a secret oath: Wenzel shall renounce Marie as his bride and never go near her again. Kezal attempts to separate Hans from Marie. Once again, the marriage broker praises money as a higher commodity than love and promises Hans another woman with great wealth. Hans resists, but Kezal offers him money to leave Marie free for Tobias Micha’s son. For 300 florins, Hans consents to such a worded contract. Secretly, Hans celebrates: he is now sure he has laid the path for his marriage to Marie. Kezal informs the villagers of the contract between him and Hans. That somebody could sell their bride for money, disgusts them and Kruschina.

A travelling circus interrupts the musings of the deathly-saddened Wenzel. The circus manager announces the highlight of the programme: the dancer Esmeralda, an Indian chief, a cannibal and, as the main attraction, a bear from America. However, Muff, the Indian impersonator, informs the manager that the bear impersonator got drunk in a bar and is unable to perform. A replacement cannot be found, as the bear costume fits no one. Then they notice Wenzel, who has the correct size. The circus manager senses his chance and invites Wenzel to join the circus troupe, with the promise that were he to perform as the bear and dance in costume, he would receive Esmeralda as his wife. Wenzel quickly forgets his reservations that he cannot dance, and his mother’s reproaches for such attempts, when Esmeralda makes eyes at him. In contrast to his parents, Agnes and Tobias Micha, Wenzel wishes to know nothing more of his betrothal to Marie. Marie is appalled at hearing of Hans’ alleged betrayal, and Kezal confirms her fears by showing her the contract signed by Hans. Kathinka and Kruschina suggest that their daughter become engaged to Wenzel. He wishes to marry her immediately, as he recognises her as the charming girl who made him renounce his oath. Marie laments her lost happiness with Hans. She wishes to know no more from him and allows him to speak no words when he tries to explain his contract with Kezal. Kezal now finally wants to enact the sale of the bride. Marie is shocked that Hans is in agreement. To everyone’s amazement, Tobias Micha recognises his lost son in the shape of Hans. Hans’ plan begins to bear fruit: the fact he is Tobias Micha’s son means that he has, in fact, not sold Marie to another. Marie must now decide between him and Wenzel, a decision she finds easy. She chooses Hans. The parents of the happy couple laugh at Kezal’s failure, while he bemoans his defeat. Suddenly, there are news about an escaped bear. Wenzel can be recognised under the bear costume, and is ridiculed by everyone and scolded by his mother Agnes through shame. Tobias Micha reconciles himself with his son, and there is now nothing to stand in the way of the marriage between Hans and Marie. 

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Tomáš Hanus studierte an der Janáček-Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in seiner Heimatstadt Brünn/Tschechien. 1999 machte er als Gewinner des Internationalen Dirigentenwettbewerbs in Kattowitz auf sich aufmerksam. Seit seinem Debüt am Nationaltheater Prag im Jahr 2001 mit Bedřich Smetanas Die Teufelswand dirigierte er dort zahlreiche Vorstellungen. Von 2007 bis 2009 war er Musikalischer Direktor des Nationaltheaters in Brünn. Gastengagements führten ihn an die Opernhäuser von Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Dresden, Wien, Basel, Kopenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki, Lyon und Warschau. Zudem dirigierte er Konzerte mit Orchestern wie dem Bayerischen Staatsorchester, dem London Symphony Orchestra, dem Ensemble intercontemporain, dem Staatsorchester Stuttgart, der Camerata Salzburg und der Tschechischen Philharmonie. Seit der Spielzeit 2016/2017 ist er Music Director der Welsh National Opera. An der Bayerischen Staatsoper dirigierte er u. a. Die Sache Makropolus, Rusalka und Hänsel und Gretel. (Stand: 2020)

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