Viola (opera)

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Opera by Bedřich Smetana
The composer around 1883
Librettist Eliška Krásnohorská
Language Czech
Based on Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night
Premiere 11 May 1924 (1924-05-11)
National Theatre, Prague

Viola is an unfinished romantic opera by Bedřich Smetana. The libretto was written by Eliška Krásnohorská, and is based on Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night. The composer did some work on it in 1874 and then came back to it in 1883, when he only managed to orchestrate a few scenes; the opera was left incomplete upon Smetana's death in 1884.

Performance history[edit]

A concert performance (of the unfinished work) was given on 15 March 1900 and it was staged at the Prague National Theatre on 11 May 1924.


Role Voice type Premiere cast, 15 March 1900
Orsino, Duke of Illyria tenor
Viola, twin sister to Sebastian mezzo-soprano
Sebastian, twin brother to Viola soprano
Olivie mezzo-soprano
Tobiáš baritone
Ondřej tenor
Malvolio baritone
Marie soprano
Šašek baritone
Antonio, a captain bass
Marko, an old fisherman bass


  • 1982, Zdeněk Košler (conductor), Prague National Theatre Orchestra and Chorus; Jiří Pokorný (Piano), Marie Veselá, Drahomíra Drobková, Dalibor Jedlička, Jaroslav Horáček, Miroslav Švejda, Karel Hanuš