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Cast

Vendulka: Marie Slorach

Paloucky Otec: John Ayldon

Lukas: Eduardo Alvares

Tomes: Roger Howell

Martinka: Patricia Johnson

Matous: Richard Robson

Barce: Nancy Hermiston

A Frontier Guard: Grant Shelley

Creative Team

ConductorAlbert Rosen
DirectorToby Robertson
Set DesignBernard Culshaw
Costume DesignBernard Culshaw
Lighting DesignMick Hughes
ChoreographerTerry John Bates
Chorus MasterMartin Merry/Gerard Lawlor

The Plot

Act I 
Lukáš, a peasant, has always been in love with Vendulka. Unfortunately for the young couple, his parents insisted that he marry another girl. However, his wife dies, leaving him with an infant. As they are both still young, Lukáš intends to woo the very eligible Vendulka. Paloucký, Vendulka’s father, opposes the match: he reasons that since both Lukáš and Vendulka are stubborn people, they would make an incompatible couple. Vendulka is dismayed at his position, so Paloucký withdraws his objection but his misgivings remain. With friends and relatives in his wake, Lukáš arrives at Paloucký’s home to formally make his intentions towards Vendulka known. Paloucký gives his blessing to the couple with a certain amount of reticence, which annoys Lukáš. The young widower means to kiss Vendulka; she evades it and as Paloucký predicted, the couple are already arguing. Only a well-timed drinking song from one of Lukáš’s kinsmen can stop the fight. When Lukáš and Vendulka are alone, he tries to kiss her again but again he is rebuffed. It is near sundown and Vendulka spreads sand to see the tracks of Lukáš’ wife’s ghost visiting her child. Vendulka believes that kissing Lukáš before the wedding would disturb his wife’s ghost who watches over her child. Vendulka refuses to kiss him until they are married. When he insists, she threatens to throw him out of the house. Incensed, he leaves. Later, after falling asleep, Vendulka is awakened by the sound of a polka outside Paloucký’s home. It is Lukáš dancing with and kissing the village girls. Vendulka is both enraged and mortified and swears to leave home.

Act II 

In a forest near the Bohemian frontier, a band of smugglers lies in waiting. Lukáš regrets his previous behaviour and mourns the disappearance of Vendulka. Tomeš, Lukáš’s brother-in-law tells him to apologize: he notes that while Vendulka is swift to anger, she is also swift to forgive

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