Adel and Mara, an opera in four acts, is one of the most important works of the Croatian composer Josip Hatze. The opera’s libretto was written by Branko Radica and based on the romantic epic poem Unfortunate Mara by the Split author Luka Botić – a tragic love story about a young couple, a handsome young Turkish man Adel and a young Christian girl Mara from Vranjic.
They meet and fall in love at a country fair, but the chasm between their two communities is too deep to be bridged by the young couple’s love.This touching love story originates in the 16th century, when a nobleman from Split sent an account of the event to the Venetian government in 1574. Luka Botić found the story in the archives of Split and used it for his epic poem. The conflict of different faiths in a divided society leads to a tragic end – this gave the composer Hatze an opportunity to delve into thee folk music of two different Dalmatian regions, the Mediterranean Split and the town of Klis, which was then under Ottoman rule.
Broad melodies, sweeping arias and the dramatic tension make the opera Adel and Mara one of the most brilliant Croatian operas. Although its world premiere took place in Ljubljana in 1932, the work was premiered in Zagreb as early as the following year, where it was conducted by Lovro von Matačić. Soon after, it was staged elsewhere in Croatia. Hatze, a student of the great Italian composer Pietro Mascagni, showed with this opera a strong sense of drama and precise characterization. Hatze’s depiction of the conflict of faith and the worldviews of two neighboring communities that takes its toll on the young is in the spirit of reconciliation and tolerance.
Premiere of opera Adel and Mara will be on November 02 2017, at Croatian Nacional Theatre in Zagreb.
Information taken from: Croatian Nacional Theatre in Zagreb.