To the Royal Throne, then to Hell and back, please!—Jaromír Weinberger's Schwanda, the Bagpiper, which premiered in Prague in 1927, was a sensational success, performed thousands of times across Europe and the USA until 1933. After the global success of the musical My Fair Lady, Andreas Homoki stages the late romantic musical theatre comedy about a bagpiper. In the cast are Baritone Daniel Schmutzhard as the Bohemian mood cannon and Kiandra Howarth as the eternally beloved Dorota. Together with General Music Director Ainārs Rubiķis, they conquer hearts, the world—and the underworld!
Babinský—tramp, folk hero, legend—arrives at the farm just in time for dinner, and promptly whisks away the young Schwanda, along with his bagpipes. Adventure beckons, the wide world! With his instrument and good humour, the young man melts a queen's heart of ice, wins over a nation, faces acts of jealousy and hellish antics. Though Hell is one thing, above all: Deadly boring! With Babinský's help, with wit and sleight of hand, Schwanda saves his soul, and in the end returns to the love of his life.
With Schwanda, Jaromír Weinberger created a work that is as funny as it is touching. It was one of the most frequently performed operas between 1927 and 1933. This declaration of love for Bohemia, created from materials and characters of the homeland, has its musical roots in folk songs and dances of the region. It blossoms both in the style of the operas of Weinberger’s compatriot Bedřich Smetana—above all, The Bartered Bride—and in the late Romantic orchestral sounds à la Franz Schreker or Richard Strauss. Paradoxically, there is only one instrument missing from this score: bagpipes!