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John Tyrrell

small circus is announced with a brief, colourfully orchestrated march (trumpet, piccolo, percussion). In his opening patter the Circus Master describes his troupe: the dancer Esmeralda, an ‘Indian’ and, their greatest attraction, an American bear who will perform a can-can with Esmeralda. Their wares are further displayed in the brilliant skočná (a fast 2/4 folkdance). But there is a crisis: the Indian announces to the Circus Master that the ‘bear’ has got too drunk to appear. They need a substitute and come upon Vašek, seen admiring Esmeralda’s legs. Esmeralda begins