The eternal young lad as the newspapers call the Croatian comic opera Ero the Joker, the most successful and popular work of Jakov Gotovac was held on January 10, 2018 for the seven hundredth time. This opera has been categorised as the most successful Slavic comic opera and since its world opening night at the CNT in Zagreb on November 2, 1935 has almost permanently been a part of the opera repertoire in Zagreb and in all other Croatian national theatres.
The cast was Siniša Štork (Landlord Marko), Dubravka Šeparović Mušović (Doma), Valentina Fijačko Kobić (Đula), Miljenko Đuran (Mića-Ero), Ljubomir Puškarić (Miller Sima), Ana Zebić Kostel (Shepherd), Mario Bokun (Lad) and soloists of the Ballet of the CNT In Zagreb accompanied bythe Choir and Orchestra of the Opera of the CNT in Zagreb.
Numerous reviews on productions staged on foreign stages consider Ero a trademark of the Croatian opera that translates songs and dances of the homeland to the world in which the spoken work and the music score are ideally matched. The music colour, rich orchestration, vivid rhythms, melodious vocal parts that flow uninterruptedly are closely connected with the exceptional libretto of Milan Begović that has an abundance of witty and inventive lines. The leading character is Mića, a young lad from a rich village family in Dalmatinska zagora. During his quest for a suitable bride, he takes his mother’s advice and presents himself as a pauper, as Ero from the other world, because he wishes to be certain that the girl he has chosen, Đula, truly loves him. Although he has tricked many at the end they all forgive him and he gets the girl he loves. An impressive ballet finale of the opera, in furioso tempi, is a specific ode to the village way of life in which music imbued with ethnos of Dalmatian hinterland is put forward.
The last production of Ero the Joker directed by Krešimir Dolenčić has been on the repertoire for the past 25 years, since May 9, 1992 when it was premiered with Loris Voltolini as conductor, with sets designed by Dalibor Laginja, costumes of Inga Kostinčer that were revived by Dženisa Pecotić, light design by Vladimir Kazda, choreography by Margareta Froman that was passed on by Zvonimir Reljić and stage movement by Ioan Barbu.