Format: CD

Šifra: 111860

EAN: 3838898111860


Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari: I quatro rusteghi – School for fathers (extracts)


Lunardo: Ladko Korošec – bass
Margherita:Elza Karlovac – alto
Lucietta: Maruša Patik – soprano
Maurizio: Danilo Merlak – bass
Filipetto: Janez Lipušček – tenor
Marina: Milica Polajnar – soprano
Simon: Friderik Lupša – bass
Cancian: Zdravko Kovač – bass
Felice: Manja Mlejnik – soprano
Marina's servant: Zlata Ognjanovič - soprano

The Symphony Orchestra RTV Ljubljana, conducted by Danilo Švara
Recorded in Studio 14 of Radio Ljubljana in October 1957

1./ Uvertura 2.17
2./ Uvodni prizor 1 slike. 1.dejanja (Lunardo, Margherita, Lucietta) 
3./ Duet Maurizija in Lunarda iz 1. slike, medigra ter prizor Marine, Filipetta in Služabnice iz 2.slike 
4./ Nastop Lunarda, prizor Marine, Luciette, Margherite, Lunarda in Simona ter duet Lunarda in Simona iz 2. dej.
5./ Uvodni prizor 3.dej. (Lunardo, Cancian, Simon, Felice)
6./ Sklepni prizor opere  - The final scene of the opera (


If you asked someone, who has been following the work of the Ljubljana Opera House since the second half of the 19th century, which was the best performance they had seen on its stage, most of them would decide for the School for Fathers (“I quattro rusteghi”, literally “The Four Curmudgeons”) from the mid-1950s. With this performance, Ciril Debevc celebrated his quiet 25 years of his work as a director; quiet as, from the political perspective of those times, he was persona non grata. This discrimination might have stimulated him to put some extra effort into his anniversary show as he enraptured the audience with his delicate and witty directing and proved once again that he is a first-class opera director. Favorable circumstances helped him achieve that: The conductor, the authoritative and meticulous Danilo Švara, worked with singers on the difficult vocal parts of the seemingly simple ensemble scenes with such care that no “romping” on the stage could affect the precise singing. The second outstanding feature of the show was its cast of soloists – which opera theater from near and far could boast about four outstanding basses, all natural actors, and lively female singers of equal quality. Especially Maruša Patik and Manja Mlejnik stood out in the roles of Lucietta and Felice.
The wittiness and melodiousness of the excellent translation from German by Smilijan Samec contributed a great deal to the final success. After the premiere, the show had to be repeated 29 times!
Luckily, some fragments of the opera School for Fathers were recorded for our archive in 1957. The recordings were made in at that time very modest Studio 14 with the Radio orchestra, which had just made its first steps. And even though the sound editor Sergej Dolenc was still a rookie, the recordings are excellent and the diction of the soloists could, especially today, still be a paragon.


Under the mentorship of Danilo Švara and Ciril Debevec, the bass Ladko Korošec, Friderik Lupša, Danilo Merlak and Zdravko Kovač, respectively, created such figures that will never be forgotten by those who had seen them perform.
All four bas parts are large and demanding, the most difficult being the role of Lunardo, played by Ladko Korošec. More or less latched onto comical roles, with Lunardo he created a unique and original figure of an unfriendly husband and father, a bore that relaxes from time to time, “just not in public”.
Friderik Lupša was a real basso profondo and such is also the role of Simone. The biggest surprise comes as this curmudgeon sings a duet with Lunardo and captivates the audience with the phrases in falsetto, which are the complete contrast to his otherwise dark and deep voice. He and Ladko Korošec also made a great pair in the operas Don Quixote and The Barber of Seville.
Danilo Merlak and Zdravko Kovač were usually bass-baritones but their vocal range allowed them to sing the bass roles; besides, their roles in the School for Fathers do not require singing in an extremely low register. Both of them, each in his own way, had excellently contributed to the extraordinary bass quartet, unparalleled in today’s opera ensembles.

Peter Bedjanič