Z repertoáru Vlastenského divadla v Praze
From the Repertoire of the Patriots' Theatre, Prague
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This contribution seeks to characterize and delimit the likely period of the writing of a late Czech adaptation of the story of 'Don Juan'. The Czech version is clearly influenced by the French Neo-Classical tradition and the tradition of the renowned commedia dell'arte of eighteenth-century Italy. The text of the earliest-known Czech version of this sentimental morality play about a Spanish libertine and atheist has survived in only an incomplete version. The work is obviously by an educated author, who used in it elements and motifs of the Baroque theatre tradition, the homiletics of the period, and the tradition of Baroque music and song, as well as the influence of professional theatre production of the Late Enlightenment. The combining of these diverse approaches and devices of drama and theatre, including the remarkable language of the drama, with its numerous bits of dialect, demonstrate the late urban provenance of this idiosyncratic Czech adaptation and its 'second life' in east Bohemia. The character of the sentimental, moralizing text, which has hitherto been considered part of the eighteenth-century Bohemian puppet shows, but also determined the inclusion of the play in the repertoire of the professional Prague Czech-German 'Vlastenské divadlo U Hybernu', and the apparently marginal mention of 'hrabenka Binos' (Countess Binos) makes it possible to date the place and time of the writing of this late Czech morality play as being Prague sometime in 1795-96.
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