The Bartered Bride – Smetana

‘…. Amanda Holden’s excellent translation.’
The Times

The translation was commissioned and performed by Mid Wales Opera in 2006. Stephen Medcalf’s production was set on the Welsh/English borders. The cast names were changed for this UK interpretation, e.g. Mařenka/Myfanwy, Vašek/Victor, Jenik/Joseph, Kecal/Kettle; the translation works equally well with the original names.

Other productions include: Surrey Opera; Colchester Royal Grammar School

Mladik slušný a mravù vic tichých – the opening of the act I trio

(the solicitor/marriage-broker Kecal suggests to Mařenka’s parents that Vašek would be the perfect husband for her…)


He’s delightful, it’s almost alarming
to find that he’s completely charming;
and for her husband, he’s just the one.
He is much more of a lamb than lion,
he’s the one the girls all have their eye on,
and he is a perfect mother’s son.
He’s delightful etc

He is strikingly good looking
with some very pleasing features;
unlike other English creatures
he has rather proper manners.
Since his family is wealthy,
he’s well-fed and always healthy,
much more like a pig in clover
than a modern Casanova.

Oh so thoughtful and so gentle,
rather sweet and sentimental.
All in all I think he’s splendid
so he’s highly recommended.
Well then, won’t he be perfect?
Tell me now, what more could you ask?
He’s delightful etc