Performed in the original Czech with Czech and English surtitles
Man cannot escape himself.
The conscience of a lonely artist versus the merciless machinations of political power – this is how the life story of Czech sculptor Otakar Švec (1892-1955) could be described. Švec, with another fifty-four sculptors, was forced to take part in a competition to create a monument in honour of J. V. Stalin in 1949. Švec solved this absurd and megalomaniacal assignment by a designing an unrealizable sculpture, but it eventually won the contest anyway. However, the political pressure that was brought to bear on Otakar Švec during the creation of the monument eventually took a deadly toll – he committed suicide shortly before it was unveiled. Švec´s moral and artistic dilemma has become the basis for the timeless motif of the second opera work made to order directly for National Theatre Brno’s Janáček Opera ensemble. The author of the libretto is the excellent Czech director David Radok, who instead of creating a realistic script has opted to capture the atmosphere and absurdity of the situations into which people are manipulated by an unspecified political regime in ten scenes. The author of the music is the Chief Conductor of National Theatre Brno’s Janáček Opera, Marko Ivanović, who has already composed a successful opera for children, Enchantia, in Brno.