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[Braniboři v Čechách]

Opera in three acts by Bedřich Smetana to a libretto by Karel Sabina; Prague, Provisional Theatre, 5 January 1866.

Smetana’s first opera was written for the opera competition sponsored by Count Jan Harrach to provide the recently-instituted Czech Provisional Theatre with new Czech operatic repertory. Since no entries were received by the deadline of 30 September 1862 it was extended by a year, thus allowing Smetana, who had returned from Sweden in 1861, to enter. The libretto that he acquired from Karel Sabina in February 1862 was in two acts and had to be revised to suit the three-act format stipulated by Harrach. Smetana completed the full score of Act 1 by 8 January 1863, Act 2 by 16 February and Act 3 by 23 April. The judges took three years to reach a decision about the four entries submitted, thus denying the opera a public showing in the theatre until ...