Brouček, Matěj

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(Janácček: The Excursions of Mr Brouček). Ten. A landlord, he drinks heavily at the local inn, gives his lodger Mazal notice, and flirts with Mazal's fiancée Malinka, daughter of the Sacristan. Brouček dreams of a life on the moon, free from all worries about lodgers and taxes. He falls asleep, drunk, and when he wakes up he is on the moon. Everyone he meets there is identical to one of his earthbound acquaintances. However, he soon realizes life on the moon is not all sweet—to start with, they don't eat decent food, only flowers from which they can absorb the smell. He soon decides to return to earth, but when he does, Prague has gone back to the 15th cent. It is the time of the Hussite Wars and once again everyone he comes across resembles those he knew before. Charged with cowardice for refusing to fight in the war, he is sentenced to death by burning in a barrel. As the barrel burns, he wakes up: he really is in a barrel—the one into which he fell in a drunken stupor at the inn. Created (1920) by Mirko Štork.

Subjects: Opera.

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