The Stubborn Lovers
The Stubborn Lovers (Czech:Tvrdé palice), Op. 17, is a one-act comic opera in 16 scenes by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. It was written in 1874 to the libretto of the Czech lawyer and writer Dr. Josef Štolba (1846–1930). In English, the work is also known as The Pig-Headed Peasants.
The première took place on 2 October 1881 at the New Czech Theatre (Nové české divadlo) in Prague, but was withdrawn from the stage after the second performance as the management of the theatre could not reach an agreement with the composer on his royalties. The opera was staged very rarely during Dvořák’s lifetime; nonetheless, it later became part of the standard Czech operatic repertoire.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere cast, 2 October 1881
Two village neighbours, widower Vávra and widow Říhová, came to an agreement that their children, Toník and Lenka, will be married, but without their approval. The godfather of the youngsters, old Řeřicha, knows that they love each other, but they are too stubborn to yield to any pressure. The young pair refuses to obey their parents and the cunning Řeřicha tries to find a way out. He suggests to the lovers that actually old Vávra (Toník’s father) wants to marry Lenka, while Říhová (Lenka’s mother) is to get Toník as a husband. Řeřicha arranges a secret meeting, first with Lenka then with Toník, and they spy on the meetings of their counterparts and their alleged old suitors. Toník and Lenka start to be jealous of each other. Řeřicha’s successful trick spreads fast through the village and the parents become targets of ridicule. Toník and Lenka regret their stubbornness and admit their love. Finally, Řeřicha admits he set the trap only for the sake of uniting the "stubborn lovers", and everything concludes in a happy ending.
- 2004, Jiří Bělohlávek (conductor), Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, Jana Sýkorová (Říhová), Gustáv Beláček (Řeřicha), Zdena Kloubová (Lenka), Roman Janál (Vavra), and Jaroslav Březina (Toník). Supraphon SU 3765-2631
- "The Stubborn Lovers". 5MBS, South Australia. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
- Amadeus Almanac (2 October 1881), accessed 2 April 2009
- Burghauser, Jarmil (2006). Antonín Dvořák. Prague: Koniasch Latin Press. ISBN 80-86791-26-2.
- Trojan, Jan (2001). Dějiny opery. Prague: Paseka. ISBN 80-7185-348-8.