Operettas and musical from 1950s to the present day

While in the 1950s stage forms dominate – operettas and musicals with some elements of American popular and jazz music, the media in the 1960s significantly began to absorb the listening space via production of hit parades. This critical situation lasted for 30 years, in the 1960s, 1970s even 1980s. M. Novák together with the librettist M. Ferko wrote the operetta Plná poľná lásky – Field full of love in which the central hero is a soldier. The second operetta Nie je všedný deň – It was not an ordinary day (1960) with a libretto written by P. Sevcovic. This operetta is considered to be the first Slovak musical. It was premiered at the Nová Scéna Theatre in Bratislava. K. Elbert wrote an operetta based on the libretto written by O. Kausitz – Z prístavu do prístavu – From Harbour to Harbour (1956) and based on the libretto by E. Jacobs and L. Stitnicky Dovidenia láska – Goodbye Love (1958). T. Sebo-Martinsky premiered in 1966 in the Jonas Zaborsky Theatre the operetta Kormorán odchádza zajtra – Cormorant is leaving tomorrow. Another stage type was introduced in 1937 together with the author team (M. Broz as an arranger and J. Turan – libretto) entitled Revízor Ticket inspector following N.V. Gogol’s story, which is paradoxically also considered to be the first Slovak musical. The Prešov scene introduced in 1980 his musical Ohnivák – Firebird with the libretto by M. Sebo and lyrics by G. Kopeliovicova. Elements of jazz and modern popular music were extensively used by Igor Bázlik leader, pianist, composer, arranger and director. In collaboration with M. Lasica and K. Peteraj, who adapted the libretto by B. Kramosil inspired by the play of J. Palárik Dobrodružstvo pri obžinkoch – Adventure at the Harvest creates, he writes a singspiel with the same name. Based on a literary prototype Žobrácke dobrodružstvo – Beggar’s Adventure written by J. Solovic and transformed by M. Lasica and T. Janovic he created Plné vrecká peňazí – Pockets full of money (1975) which is a half musical half scenic work as well as musical comedy Veselica – Jamboree (1978) based on the libretto by V. Šikula and lyrics by M. Kovacik. In 1975 Samuel Ivaska premiered his rock musical Modrý autobus – The Blue Bus, the first of its kind, in Bratislava’s B-club and later a rock opera Odyssea Polárka – Odyssey of the North Star in the V-Club (1977). In the 1970s beat musicians M. Varga and P. Hammel started their career as well, who according to the libretto by A. Vasova and lyrics by K. Peteraj and J. Štrasser based on the theme of the play of E. Rostand composed a musical Cyrano z predmestia – Cyrano of the suburbs. It was first presented at the Nová Scéna Theatre in 1977. Generally oriented Peter Breiner completed the musical Čarovná čaša – The Magic goblet in 1980 and received the award at the Festival in Arezzo. The Nová Scéna Theatre staged his next musical Brzdy – Brakes (1984). The conductor and composer R. Geri also played an important role in the musical and scenic creation. He has until today arranged and composed dozens opuses from the scenic music scene to television productions and the music for revue performances Fujarová show – Show of shepherd’s pipes (1981), Rýchlokurz geniality – A crash course how to become genius (1982) and Strapatí gentlemani – Bristly-haired gentlemen (1984) in cooperation with the couple of comedians Noga – Skrucany. He also participated as a conductor and an arranger in several major musicals directed by J. Bednarik at the Nová Scéna Theatre in the 1990s. Currently he runs his own business as a producer and artistic director of a private theatre company Wustenrot Theatro in Bratislava. A certain breaking point occured with the arrival of the director Jozef Bednarik to the Nová Scéna Theatre after 1989. He started to follow a new, freer way by staging works of foreign authors with the aim of winning the favour of the audience and gaining commercial success. This led to economic stabilization of the singspiel but, except for some exception, there was a lack of original domestic creation. The situation was similar in the whole Slovakia. For example in the State Opera in Banská Bystrica the dramaturgy prefered the Italian-style operas from the 19th century or American musicals with the exception of only a few productions of the original works of Slovak authors, e.g. children’s musical written by V. Patejdl Snehulienka a sedem pretekárov – Snow White and the Seven Racers and a theatrical fairy tale by I. Bázlik Polepetko. Older Slovak creations (e.g. works of Gejza Dusik) were staged only sporadically and new works were not staged at all. The only exception was the Jonas Zaborsky Theatre in Prešov because they staged national musicals. These musicals were premiered there: František z Assisi – Francis of Assisi (2007), Mária Antoinetta – Marie Antoinette (2009) and Quo vadis (2011) by Gabriel Dusik. Because of the lack of opportunities Slovak authors have been forced to seek opportunities for their work on foreign stages.