Janáček Brno 2016
5th International Theatre and Music Festival
20. 10. 2016
“In recent times the Opera of the National Theatre Brno has surprised us with one excellent production after another. It’s time to finally set aside false modesty and admit that what is currently taking place on the stage of the Janáček Theatre is of an international standard and that Brno is experiencing a golden age.” (Harmonie, Martin Flašar, 17. 10. 2016)
The Janáček Brno 2016 Festival in numbers
The 5th Janáček Brno International Theatre and Music Festival took place from 7 to 18 October in Brno and was organized by the National Theatre Brno. The festival offered 8 opera productions, two of which were premieres performed by the Janáček Opera NdB (Leoš Janáček: Katya Kabanova; Béla Bartók / Arnold Schönberg: Bluebeard’s Castle /Expectation) and the Czech premiere of the opera The Cave by Steve Reich and Beryl Korot, performed by the Brno Contemporary Orchestra. The programme also contained 7 chamber-music projects, 5 choral concerts, which presented a cross-section of Leoš Janáček’s choral works from his early choruses, through his sacred compositions, up to his sublime male choruses, 1 orchestral concert and 3 jazz and alternative-music projects. In total, complete with repeat performances, this represented 28 events plus accompanying events over 12 days. In terms of its dramaturgy, there was a focus on child audiences with the opera The Child and the Spells, workshops, and a projection of an animated version of The Cunning Little Vixen.
This year there was a record number of tickets sold for the basic part of the festival, with 8,444 out of a total of 10,722 seats on offer sold. Ticket sales, therefore, grew by 30% in comparison with 2014. Together with the tickets which are still to be sold as part of the Echoes of the Festival (see below), the number of tickets sold is approaching the magic figure of 10,000, which means a growth of 54%. Other positive news is that 3,170 tickets, or roughly 37%, were sold or reserved online, 444 using mobile appliances. Sales for the basic part of the festival productions reached a level of 80%.
From 1 August until 18 October, 75,000 users accessed the janacek-brno.cz festival website, mainly from the Czech and Slovak Republics, Great Britain, Austria and Germany, which means an unbelievable growth of 1729 % on 2014. Over the same period, 27,000 people accessed the website of the Janáček Opera ndbrno.cz/opera, which was the festival’s second most important information portal.
Information from online sales shows the participation of foreign visitors from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Russia, Japan, Denmark, Slovakia and the USA. The festival, therefore, fulfilled one of its roles, which was to help in the development of tourism in the region.
Echoes of the Festival
Although the main part of the festival is over, we still have in front of us the echoes of the festival: the final two repeat performances on 23 and 30 October of Bluebeard’s Castle/Expectation, which were produced for the Janáček Brno 2016 festival by the Janáček Opera NdB and Opera Göteborg, and a December performance of The Makropulos Affair with Annalena Persson in the title role. And in February 2017, the Janáček Opera NdB will represent the Czech Republic with this very opera at the prestigious Hong Kong Arts Festival, alongside illustrious theatre ensembles such as the San Francisco Opera and the Bayerisches Staatsballett.
The response from the media
This year’s festival was reviewed by the media in the Czech and Slovak Republics, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Great Britain.
The festival was organized with financial support from the City of Brno, the Ministry of Culture CR, the Leoš Janáček Foundation, the Region of South Moravia, the CR State Cultural Fund and the Swedish Embassy in the Czech Republic.
The festival’s general partner was the company PS BRNO, s.r.o., the main partner was the company VARS BRNO a.s., a member of the VINCI ENERGIES group.
Festival partners were: The Moravian Museum, The Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Masaryk University, Brno City Museum, Brno Tourist Information Centre and CzechTourism.
The main festival media partners for 2016 were Czech Television and Czech Radio Brno.
The festival was held under the patronage of the President of the Republic Miloš Zeman, the Minister of Culture Daniel Herman, the South Moravian Regional Governor Michal Hašek, Brno City Mayor Petr Vokřál, the Swedish ambassador Viktoria Li, the Austrian ambassador Alexander Grubmayer and the German ambassador Arndt Freiherr Freytag von Loringhoven.
The complete festival programme is still available at:
Selected festival photographs for downloading (thank you for including credits)