Šárka (Fibich)

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Opera by Zdeněk Fibich
Zdenek Fibich.jpg
The composer before 1900
Librettist Anežka Schulzová
Language Czech
Based on Bohemian legend of Šárka
Premiere 28 December 1897 (1897-12-28)
National Theatre, Prague

Šárka, opus 51, is an opera in three acts by Zdeněk Fibich to a Czech libretto by Anežka Schulzová, his student and lover. Fibich composed the full score over the period of 8 September 1896 to 10 March 1897.[1] At the time, Czech audiences regarded Fibich with suspicion as being overly influenced by the music of Richard Wagner, and Fibich had selected the legend of Šárka for this operatic subject to try to counter such sentiments. Even so, the opera still contains use of Wagner's idea of leitmotif.[2]

The subject matter, the Bohemian legend of Šárka, which appears in 14th-century Czech literature, is related to that of Smetana's tone poem Má vlast and the opera of the same name by Janáček. Schulzová used as her primary literary source an 1880 version of the story by J. Vrchlický.[2]

Performance history[edit]

The opera received its first performance at the Prague National Theatre on 28 December 1897. Šárka is Fibich's most popular opera and is regularly revived in the Czech Republic.

There are two archive radio recordings (1950, 1970) and three commercial recordings:


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 28 December 1897
(Conductor: Adolf Čech)
Ctirad tenor Bohumil Pták
Premysl baritone Václav Viktorin
Sárka soprano Růžena Maturová
Vitoraz bass Václav Kliment
Vlasta mezzo-soprano Anna Veverkova-Kettnerová
Libyna soprano
Svatava soprano
Mlada soprano
Radka mezzo-soprano
Castava contralto
Hosta contralto


  1. ^ Abraham, Gerald, The Operas of Zdeněk Fibich (Autumn 1985). 19th-Century Music, 9 (2): pp. 136–144.
  2. ^ a b Smaczny, Jan, "The Operas and Melodramas of Zdenĕk Fibich (1850–1900)" (1982–1983). Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association, 109: pp. 119–133.
  3. ^ The Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music 2008 -Page 458 " The Supraphon version dates from 1978, with warmly atmospheric analogue sound. Its great strength is the idiomatic conducting of Jan Stych, even though Eva Depoltavi in the title-role is less characterful than Urbanova on Orfeo."
  4. ^ Peter Hugh Reed The American Record Guide 1981- Page 16 "FIBICH: Sarka Vaclav ZItek (Prince Pfemysl); Vilem Pfibyl (Citirad); Josef KMn (Vitoraz, A Priest); Eva Depoltova (Sarka); Eva Randova (Vlasta); Jaroslava Janska (Libina); Bozena Effenberkova (Svatava); Jitka Pavlova (Mlada); Anna Barova (Radka) Notes, text and translation included
  5. ^ The Gramophone 2001 Fibich Sarka Dalibor Jenis bar Prince Pfemysl; Janez Lotric ten Ctirad; Vladimir Kubovcik bass Vitoraz; Ida Kirilova mez Vlasta; Eva Urbanova sop Sarka; Simona Saturova sop Libyna; Adriana Kohutkova sop Svatava; Klaudia Dernerova sop... 2 C5410O2H (133 minutes: DDO) Notes, text and translation included. ... Sylvain Cambreling conducts a strong and purposeful performance, recorded live in good, well-balanced radio sound - complete with applause at the ends of acts. It may not always be as idiomatic as the Czech version on Supraphon, but the impact is just as great.

External links[edit]