by darjin01



The Nightingale of Gorenjska was initially conceived as an operetta, which was tendered by the Dramatic Society and offered two awards for both the operetta and libretto. The Commission made up of Bedřich Smetana, Karel Bendl and Ludevit Prochazka awarded the First Place to Foerster and thus The Nightingale of Gorenjsko was first performed under his leadership at the Provincial Theatre, on 27th April 1872. Twenty years later Foerster decided to rewrite his operetta into opera. The libretto, initially made by Luiza Pesjak, was rewritten by Czech librettist Emanuel Züngl, whereas Foerster composed an additional number of musical acts and recitatives to replace the spoken text. The opera was first staged on 30th October 1896. Subsequently the Nightingale of Gorenjska was remade and complemented several times, as the opera apparently – at least according to connoisseurs – had some weaknesses. But even Smetana wrote in his revue, that the opera has »fresh melodics« and that it is »thoughtfully and skilfully harmonised, as well as artfully instrumented«.



The story of the Slovenian operatic classics tells about Franjo, who returns to his hometown, where he is eagerly expected by his friend Lovro and his girlfriend Minka. At that time the entertaining Chansonette stops in this idyllic place in Gorenjsko, hears Minka singing and immediately decides to take her away – and out into the world – to help her train her voice and earn her living with it. This all happens, when Minka’s family is pushed by the creditors to leave the house. Although Chansonette is offering money, Minka’s mother refuses to take it and the villagers decide to prevent the foreigner’s plans …


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