PREMIERE - Brno Exhibition Centre - Pavilion P
When we are performing - Friday 7. 09. 2018 7pm - Tickets - www.smetanovalibuse.cz
The idea to put on Libuše at the Brno Exhibition Centre came from my long-term deliberations whether to put it on this season. But I said to myself that the anniversary of the Republic was once every hundred years and that we weren’t allowed to miss it. And then immediately came that second question, “But who’s going to sing it?”
I remember exactly when he called me, Jirka Heřman. I lifted the phone and he laughed so much. “I have this idea and I really want it to happen”. And I said, “Great, what is it?” “I’m going to put on Libuše,” which was when I started to laugh. And I said, “Well, great, but I don’t have anything to sing in it.” “What do you mean you’ve nothing to sing?!” And I said, “Well, what would I sing?” And he said, “Well, Libuše!” And I laughed even more. And he said, “Yeah, I want you in it and your husband as Přemysl.” From this enthusiasm, I then immediately started thinking and became scared. I experienced three weeks of sleepless nights. Surprisingly it was my sister who get me out of it. I described to her the situation and surprisingly she knew Libuše was an opera and was the main role, I said to her that I couldn’t sing it, that it’s only for our top singers who get there and deserve it, that it’s our Czech national opera, that it was impossible, it’s only when you reach a certain age. There was silence for a moment and then my sister began to laugh. “And how old do you think you are. You’re forty. You’re no spring chicken.” And she’s right. I have nothing to wait for.
Libuše is one of those operas which over 150 years has had so many different interpretations and gradually has moved towards more heroic types of voice which the main characters sing. But it’s also interesting to look back at who did the world premiere and you find it that it’s possible to have a completely different outlook. The voice can be more lyrical and through that the whole opera can have a much greater intimacy. I’ve never had the opportunity to see both of the Hájeks on stage together, in fact I don’t know if they’ve ever been there together. As is well known, they have an incredibly harmonious and beautiful relationship. And I know that whenever one of them has a premiere then the other one sends them a beautiful huge bouquet of flowers. And I think it’s going to be very interesting to see them both on stage and actually end up as husband and wife.