The Farmer's Woman (the play which provided the basis for J. B. Foerster's opera "Eve") is set in the milieu of Moravian Slovak workers leaving for seasonal jobs in Austria. The unravelling of a tragic love story begins from the unequal financial circumstances driving a young woman who leaves an unhappy marriage for her lover and is then offended by her indecisive lover's weakness to the point that she eventually takes her own life.
Although Gabriela Preissová's classic rural drama "The Farmer's Woman" has not lost its impact, even in its original folkloric guise, the director Jiří Pokorný has not contented himself with it. He has revisited the story of an unequal relationship between the poor Lutheran dressmaker, Eve, and a Catholic farmer's son, Mánek through modern eyes and discovered its hidden possibilities. He has not achieved this by updating the externals, but by the fact that he clearly and almost brutally reveals the motivations of the different characters. In this way he has freed himself from the author's realistic descriptiveness and easily bridged the abyss of more than a hundred years since the origins of "The Farmer's Woman". The character of Eve is still the main focus of his attention but it is no longer a clash between free individuals and the conventions in force. Here Eve breaks away from her village society which has already in fact resigned its own order and only keeps its rituals in a stale and degraded form.
(by Jana Paterová, Lidové noviny Daily)
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