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The Bartered Bride

Opera in three acts by Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884). Libretto Karel Sabina.

Smetana’s exuberant opera, directed by Mellika Melouani Melani.

  • Length

    Approx. 2 h 45 min, including interval

  • Where

    Main Stage

  • Genre


  • Language

    Swedish, with Swedish and English titles.

  • Price

    150–690 kr

  • Accessibility

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What price can we put on love? In the hands of director Mellika Melouani Melani, Smetana’s delightful opera becomes an exuberant rebellion.

In a run-down neighbourhood, desires are simmering. The summer heat is driving people crazy with passion, life and desire. They love, they fight, they make plans and deals. We meet the young Mařenka, who is passionately in love with a stranger called Jeník. But their love is under threat. Mařenka’s parents want to marry her off to the wealthy Vašek in order to pay off a debt. A bumpy ride to happiness begins, along with melancholy, deceit and a magnificent circus.

Director Mellika Melouani Melani dusts off this Czech national-romantic opera and imbues it with punky love, strong desires and violent rebellion against traditional norms. Is this a socially critical romantic comedy or a study of the absurd tragedy of relationships? Yes, to both.

Smetana, who lived in Gothenburg for five years, has imbued this comic opera with irresistible charm. Exuberant, explosive and sentimental, it offers romantic arias, lively choruses and Czech folk music. The Bartered Bride was the first opera written in Czech (in 1866), and has been performed at Prague’s National Theatre over 2,500 times.

Curious about The Bartered Bride?


One hour prior to each Main Stage opera, we offer an introduction to the evening’s performance. Introductions last around 20 minutes and are presented on the Small Stage. Admission to introductions is free with a ticket to the show.

Please note: Introductions are presented in Swedish, and there is no introduction before the premiere performance.

Learn more about introductions, panel discussions and open rehearsals

Curious about The Bartered Bride?

Panel discussion

Performance calendar

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