Ero the rogue

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Work data
Title: Ero the rogue
Original title: Ero s onoga svijeta
Performance by the Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad, 2013/2014 season

Performance by the Serbian National Theater in
Novi Sad , 2013/2014 season

Shape: Singspiel
Original language: Croatian
Music: Jakov Gotovac
Libretto : Milan Begović
Literary source: Hans Sachs : The traveling schoolboy in the paradeis (Carnival game, 1550)
Premiere: November 2, 1935
Place of premiere: Zagreb
Playing time: approx. 2 ½ hours
Place and time of the action: Herzegovina
  • Mića / Ero, transcribed Mitscha , young man from the neighboring village ( Tenorbuffo )
  • Đula, transcribed Djula ( lyric soprano )
  • Marko, a rich farmer, Đula's father (Bassbuffo)
  • Doma, his wife, Đula's stepmother ( alto or mezzo-soprano )
  • Sima the Miller ( baritone )
  • Boy (child's voice)
  • Servant ( tenor )
  • Girls, women, fruit traders, merchants, shepherds, boys and children (choir and extras)

Ero der Schelm (original title in Croatian Ero s onoga svijeta , German about 'An Ero from this world') is a comic opera in three acts by the Croatian composer Jakov Gotovac . The libretto was written by his compatriot Milan Begović . It is the most frequently performed musical theater work in Croatia.

The opera is based on the folk tale and the carnival game Der farent Schueler ins Paradeis by Hans Sachs from 1550. Gotovac moved the plot to Herzegovina and combined musical elements from Dalmatia to Kosovo . The composer stood at the conductor's desk at the premiere on November 2, 1935 at the Croatian National Theater in Zagreb .


The orchestra consists of three flutes , two oboes , an English horn , three clarinets , two bassoons , four horns , three trumpets , three trombones , a bass tuba , a timpani , a percussion , a harp , a piano and strings , plus an organ for them Incidental music .


The opera is set in a village in Herzegovina at harvest time , although it remains unclear whether in the present or in the past:

"Radnja se zbiva u maloj varoši, negde u Hercegovini, u ranu jesen u vrijeme vladavine osmanlijske Turske, u vrijeme današnje kao i ono od prije sto godina."

"The action takes place in a small village, somewhere in Herzegovina, in the early autumn at the time of the rule of Ottoman Turkey , today as it was a hundred years ago."

The main character's name, Ero, is a nickname for a Herzegovinian .

first act

On the threshing floor

Mića is a rich young man who has longed for a woman. However, he is very picky about this. Every time he thinks he has found the right one, he can't shake the feeling that she doesn't love him, but only his money.

In the barn, the farmer's maids are busy working the grain with flails. Perhaps he will find a suitable bride among them. Mića is hiding in the haystack. When he sees the opportunity, he jumps down on the threshing floor and pretends to be a have-not Ero that has fallen from heaven from another world. His heart immediately flares up for Đula, the daughter of the rich farmer Marko. He wants to put her to the test and tells her the hair-raising story that her real mother decided that he should one day be her husband. When Đula's quarreling stepmother Doma appears, he also serves up a fairy tale for her and manages to get her to give him a stocking full of gold coins out of pity. With that he seeks the distance.

When Đula's father arrives and hears what has happened, he becomes very angry. Furious, he goes in search of Ero.

Second act

In the mill

In a happy mood, the miller Sima paints the grain. The maids are in a hurry and can't wait to get their flour. Đula and her stepmother also arrive at the mill and deliver their grain. Doma is still very upset that she fell for a crook. Though Đula tries hard to calm her stepmother down, she doesn't succeed. Doma runs furiously from the mill.

Đula pours out her heart to the miller, who gives her consolation. When she wants to leave the mill, Mića reappears, this time disguised as a miller's apprentice. The angry Marko arrives, still looking for Ero. He doesn't recognize him in his disguise and even asks him about the swindler. Ero / Mića is never at a loss for an answer. Without hesitation, he explains to him that he saw the swindler go into the forest. Immediately Marko rushes after him.

Đula and Mića admit their love for each other. Because Đula no longer dares to go home after everything that has happened, the couple decides to flee. Đula passed the love test.

Third act

At the fair

There is a lively atmosphere at the fair. But Marko and Doma are not infected by this. Marko still accuses his wife that she should have bought something useful with her savings instead of giving the money to a fraudster. Sima, the miller, joins them. He tells Marko that his daughter leads a happy life in the neighboring village with a certain Mića. But still she longs to see her father again. However, the couple did not dare to visit him without being invited. Because Marko is also longing for his daughter, he immediately sends a messenger with the invitation.

When everyone meets at the fair and the whole truth about Mića's game as Ero emerges, a general reconciliation spreads. Marko announces that he will host the young couple a splendid wedding party. Happy choirs and dances end the opera.


Members of the Bulgarian National Opera in Sofia after the premiere of the opera Ero s onoga svijeta ( Bulgarian Еро от оня свят ) with the composer Jakov Gotovac (April 1940).

The opera was very well received by the audience, but panned by the Zagreb music critics. So wrote Lujo Safranek Kavić in the newspaper Jutarnji list : "Again a Croat wrote an opera in vain". In contrast, the opera was hailed by Belgrade music critics as a masterpiece of domestic music. The opera was also played the longest in Belgrade, with 200 performances. In Germany, the work took place for the first time on April 3, 1938 in Karlsruhe .

Individual evidence

  1. Statistics from Operabase . Retrieved April 19, 2015 .