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Vocal  Kurka: The Good Soldier Schweik 
Kurka: The Good Soldier Schweik
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Robert Kurka: The Good Soldier Schweik
Chicago Opera Theater
Jason Collins, tenor
Marc Embree, baritone
Alexander Platt, conductor
Cedille Records CDR 90000 062
2-CD SET

"10/10 - At long last a glaring operatic catalog gap is triumphantly filled . . . The present world premiere recording . . . [i]s a knockout in every way." (ClassicsToday.com Disc of the Month, May 2002)

More than four decades after its 1958 debut, American composer Robert Kurka's hilarious, satirical opera The Good Soldier Schweik returns to active duty with a complete, world premiere recording on Cedille Records.

Based on Jaroslav Hasek's classic Czech novel of the same name, Schweik lampoons World War I era Europe through a musical score infused with dances, marches, ballads, jazz, and Weill-esque cabaret.

"Think of a manic hybrid between 'Mahagonny,' 'Wozzeck,' and 'Catch 22,' as staged by the Marx Brothers - that's 'Schweik'," writes the Chicago Tribune's John von Rhein.

This new 2-CD set captures all the wit and sparkle of the Chicago Opera Theater's March 2001 staging, which Opera News called a "triumph . . . it would be hard to imagine a more eminently likeable production." "Bravos to one and all," concurs the Chicago Tribune.

Cast List:
Schweik Jason Collins
Lt. Lukash/ Army Doctor/ Gentleman of Bohemia Marc Embree
Mrs. Muller/ Katy/ Ensemble Soprano Kelli Harrington
Baroness von Botzenheim/ Madame Kakonyi/ Ensemble Mezzo Buffy Baggott
Palivec/ Voditchka/ Ensemble Baritone Timothy Sharp
1st Psychiatrist/ Chaplain/ Ensemble Tenor Mark Calvert
Bretschneider/ Vanek/ 1st Malingerer/ Ensemble Tenor Wayne Alan Behr
1st Doctor/ 2nd Malingerer/ Dog/ Ensemble Tenor Robert Boldin
Mr. Wendler/ Guard/ Sergeant/ Mr. Kakonyi/ Ensemble Tenor Stephen Noon
2nd Psychiatrist/ 2nd Doctor/ Ensemble Baritone Aaron Judisch
General von Schwarzburg/ 3rd Malingerer/ Ensemble Baritone Christian Elser
Police Officer/ 3rd Psychiatrist/ 4th Malingerer/Colonel von Zillergut/ Ensemble Bass Alvaro Ramirez

Chicago Opera Theater
Alexander Platt, conductor

Mary Stolper flute, Jennifer Binney piccolo, Debra Freedland oboe, Joseph Claude English horn, Gene Collerd clarinet, Kathryn Pirtle bass clarinet, Amy Rhodes bassoon, Robert Broemel contrabassoon, Greg Flint/ Angela DeBoers/ Melanie Cottle horn, Ross Beacraft/ Matt Lee trumpet, Michael Folker timpani, Bruce Carver percussion, John McAllister, trombone
Click here to download the CD booklet.









Click the Cedille Player at the upper left to hear excerpts from the tracks highlighted in red below. These have been carefully chosen as representative of the recording program.

PROGRAM (2 CD SET)

World Premiere Recording

CD 1 Act I

1. Overture (3:11)
2. Prologue (2:20)
3. Scene One: Schweiks Flat in Prague (3:33)
4. Scene Two: The Flagon (a tavern) (6:42)
5. Scene Three: Police Headquarters (Pantomime Dance) (1:53)
6. Scene Three: Police Headquarters (Schweik "Good evening, gentlemen") (3:15)
7. Scene Four: A cell (Schweik "Good evening, everybody") (2:17)
8. Scene Four: A cell (Schweik "We re all in a hell of a mess") (1:25)
9. Scene Four: A cell (Schweik "Its great fun") (1:56)
10. Scene Five: Another room in Police Headquarters (2:57)
11. Scene Six: The Insane Asylum (Schweik "I never felt so good before!") (2:22)
12. Scene Six: The Insane Asylum (Furiant) (2:17)
13. Scene Six: The Insane Asylum (1st Doctor "Achtung!") (0:44)
14. Scene Six: The Insane Asylum (Schweik "Who will go to the war...?" (4:14)
15. Scene Six: The Insane Asylum (2nd Doctor "Have they ever examined...?" (1:43)
16. Scene Seven-Part 1: Schweiks flat (Schweik "Mrs. Muller!") (1:35)
17. Scene Seven-Part 1: Schweiks flat (Schweik "Oh, the generals!") (1:04)
18. Scene Seven-Part 2: The street below Schweiks flat (1:50)

CD 2 Act II (58:20)

1. Prelude (March) (2:51)
2. Scene One: Army infirmary (Consumptive "O-o-oh!") (0:58)
3. Scene One: Army infirmary (1st Malingerer "Just look at me!") (1:50)
4. Scene One: Army infirmary (Sergeant "Achtung!") (1:14)
5. Scene One: Army infirmary (Doctor "Aha, rheumatism!") (3:27)
6. Scene One: Army infirmary (Sergeant "Baroness von Botzenheim!") (4:04)
7. Scene Two (A): Detention Barracks (2:50)
8. Scene Two (B): Army Chapel (4:34)
9. Scene Two (C): Chaplains room (1:28)
10. Scene Three: Lieutenant Lukashs flat (Lt. Lukash "Well, Schweik") (3:49)
11. Scene Three: Lieutenant Lukashs flat (Col. Zillergut: "Fox! Fox!") (1:34)
12. Scene Three: Lieutenant Lukashs flat (Sextet) (2:35)
13. Scene Four: Budejovice Express / Station platform (Lt. Lukash) (3:31)
14. Scene Four: Budejovice Express / Station platform (Passengers) (1:07)
15. Scene Five: A private room in a small cafe in Budejovice (Lt. Lukash "Dear Madame!") (4:15)
16. Scene Five: A private room in a small cafe in Budejovice (Lt. Lukash "Come in!") (1:44)
17. Scene Six: Soprony Street/ "The Red Lamb" (a tavern) (Voditchka) (0:30)
18. Scene Six: Soprony Street/ "The Red Lamb" (a tavern) (Tavern Patrons) (0:57)
19. Scene Six: Soprony Street/ "The Red Lamb" (a tavern) (Polka) (2:59)
20. Scene Six: Soprony Street/ "The Red Lamb" (a tavern) (Schweik) (1:44)
21. Scene Seven (A): A dugout at the Front (2:59)
22. Scene Seven (B): The Front (Soldiers) (3:29)
23. Scene Seven (B): The Front (Vanek) (0:38)
24. Scene Seven (B): The Front (Schweik) (1:36)
25. Epilogue (Gentleman of Bohemia) (1:22)

Recorded: April 2-4, 2001 in Bennett-Gordon Hall at Ravinia, Highland Park, Illinois / Producer: James Ginsburg / Engineer: Bill Maylone / Cover Illustration: Olga Sanina / Cover Typography: Jim Casey / Design: Melanie Germond / Notes: Dennis Moyer / This recording is made possible in part by generous grants from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the National Endowment for the Arts.