Adel and Mara is the most important work of the Croatian composer Josip Hatze (1879-1959). The opera’s libretto was written by Branko Radica and based on the romantic epic poem Unfortunate Mara by the Split author Luka Botić – a tragic love story about a young couple, a handsome young Turkish man Adel and a young Christian girl Mara from Vranjic. They meet and fall in love at a country fair, but the chasm between their two communities is too deep to be bridged by the young couple's love. This touching love story originates in the 16th century, when a nobleman from Split sent an account of the event to the Venetian government. Broad melodies, sweeping arias and the dramatic tension make the opera Adel and Mara one of the most brilliant Croatian operas. Although its world premiere took place in Ljubljana in 1931, the opera was soon staged across Croatia. Hatze, a student of the great Italian composer Pietro Mascagni, showed with this opera a strong sense of drama and precise characterization. His depiction of the conflict of faith and the worldviews of two neighboring communities that takes its toll on the young is in the spirit of reconciliation and tolerance.
Ugodna glazba za širu publiku koja podsjeća na večer klapskog pjevanja dalmatinske šansone uz nešto orijentalnih elemenata, priča je koja bi trebala simbolizirati mjesto susreta različitosti.— 24express
The production impresses with powerful, lush and expressive voices of Croatian opera singers.— Večernji list
The choir with its great female voices and the orchestra conducted by maestro Nikša Bareza have brought out the best qualities of Hatze's score.— Vijenac
A great musical performance conducted by the inspired Nikša Bareza, who selected beautiful voices and strong performers for the leading characters, warmly interpreted by the tender Valetina Fijačko Kobić and the impassioned Stjepan Franetović.— Jutarnji list