Season 2016/2017

I desire, therefore I am

What drives humanity in its journey through time and space? Six premieres in the Janáček Opera NTB’s forthcoming season will examine this longing inside of us.

7 October 2016: Katya Kabanova
15 October 2016: Bluebeard's Castle / Expectation
10 December 2016: The Devil and Kate
4 February 2017: La Gioconda
24 March 2017: L'amour de loin
26 May 2017: Le compte Ory


Leoš Janáček: Katya Kabanova


My love has led me to sin. But I wanted so badly to feel that I was alive!

Káťa Kabanová. A work which touches the heart. Now in a powerful and poetic interpretation by the world-famous director Robert Carsen. An impressive start to the Janáček Opera’s new season and to the Janáček Brno 2016 festival! Ostrovsky’s drama is raw, thought-provoking and provides profound insights into human nature. It takes us back to the essence of humanity. It is small wonder that in 1919, the sixty-five-year-old Leoš Janáček chose this as the basis for his fifth opera. He wrote the libretto himself, which is perhaps why the music flows from the text so naturally, as though they had always belonged together. Carsen’s original concept, where the entire stage is covered in water, was originally conceived for the Vlaamse Opera. It has been performed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Teatro Real in Madrid. The Janáček Opera is the first ensemble in the Czech Republic to include this production in its core repertoire. 

Premiere: 7 October 2016 at the Janáček Theatre
Details of the production

Conductor: Ondrej Olos
Director: Robert Carsen
Stage and costume design: Patrick Kinmonth
Choreography: Philippe Giraudeau

Opera Vlaanderen, Antwerp/Gent. - principal owner of license



Béla Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle Arnold Schönberg: Expectation


An opera thriller on the stage of the Janáček Theatre! 

What is Bluebeard hiding behind those seven mysterious doors? Where does human curiosity lead to? Suspense, the conflict between the desire to know and the fear of discovery, uncertainty right up until the last moment. All of this is underpinned by David Radok’s excellent directing and the incredible music requiring large orchestral forces. Bluebeard’s Castle from 1911, which perfectly reflects the Freudian atmosphere of the age, is a unique piece, and not only in the context of Bartok’s work. Its partner piece will be a one-act opera from another musical giant of the 20th century. Schoenberg wrote of his work that: “In Expectation the aim is to gradually depict everything that can happen in a single second of maximum spiritual excitement.” Come along if you are looking for answers in art! Because what is a happy ending anyway?

Premiere: 15 October 2016 at the Janáček Theatre
Details of the performance

Conductor: Marko Ivanović
Director: David Radok
Stage design: Martin Chocholoušek
Costume design: Zuzana Ježková

In coproduction with the GöteborgsOperan 


Antonín Dvořák: The Devil and Kate


A fun entry into the world of opera for younger as well as older audiences.

This fairy story for audiences young and old, inspired by Božena Němcová, about the fearless shepherd Jirka, the marriage-obsessed Kate and the betrayed devil Marbuel, returns to the stage of the Mahen Theatre after a lengthy absence. Although the stage teems with devils, they are not the dark demons and cruel rulers of hell, but the devils of Czech fairy tales who are easily duped by cheeky Kate and clever Jirka! This fairy tale, where bad people find redemption and cleverness and bravery triumph over hell itself, where pots and wooden spoons float around and cheeky Kate frightens even Lucifer himself, will take you back to childhood years full of gentle humour and happy endings. So come with us to Mokrá Lhota, where some very strange things are going on at the castle...

Premiere: 10 December 2016 at the Mahen Theatre
Details of the performance

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Tue  4/4/2017 at 6 pm 
Thu  4/5/2017 at 7 pm
Wed 14/6/2017 at 11 am

Conductor: Jakub Klecker
Director: Jiří Heřman
Stage design: Pavel Svoboda
Costume design: Alexandra Grusková


Amilcare Ponchielli: La Gioconda

A drama set in Venice

Today Italian opera from the second half of the 19th century is inextricably linked with the names of Verdi and Puccini. Verdi’s contemporary Amilcare Ponchielli stands somewhat quietly to one side. However, his La Gioconda is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Italian music from the period. Its premiere at La Scala in 1876 met with great success and the critics said that Ponchielli was the one composer able to follow Verdi in the genre of “great opera”. The librettist Arrigo Boito reworked Victor Hugo’s play Angelo, Tyrant of Padua, transferring the entire plot to Venice in the 17th century. The tragic story of the singer Giocando, who sacrifices herself to allow others to love, lent itself directly to large-scale musical treatment. Large choruses, the famous ballet number The Dance of the Hours, Enzo’s aria Cielo e mar and Laura’s prayer – all of this represents the best of 19th-century Italian opera.

Premiere: 4 February 2017 at the Janáček Theatre
Details of the performance

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Sat   8/4/2017 at 5 pm

Conductor: Jaroslav Kyzlink
Director: Tomáš Pilař
Stage design: Tomáš Pilař
Costume design:  Sylva Zimula Hanáková


Kaija Saariaho: L'amour de loin

Our tender words drift from shore to shore...

Experience the story of a nobleman from Blaye who hears of a Princess from Tripoli. He falls deeply in love with her and sets out on a long journey just to set eyes on her... The troubadour Jaufré Rudel, a nobleman from Blaye, was a real figure from the 12th century, whose amorous infatuations were captured in his songs. He perfected the concept of love from afar, which the opera took as its title and which is reflected in its content. “To dream about the form and intensity of love with the realization that it will not become a reality – that is the basis of Rudel’s poetry,” said the librettist Amin Maalouf.  The opera’s musical language was greatly inspired by medieval and Arabic music and uses unusual sound effects. For example, the chorus is partly used as an instrumental element of the orchestra. The renowned Finnish composer Kaiji Saariaho was commissioned to write it by the Salzburg Festival in 2000. In 2003 it was awarded the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.  Since that time it has been performed in many of the leading European opera houses. In December 2016 it will be performed for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Janáček Opera is proud to give L’amour de loin its first performance in the Czech Republic. 

Premiere: 23 March 2017at the Janáček Theatre
Details of the performance

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 Wed  5/4/2017 at 7 pm

Conductor: Marko Ivanović
Director: Jiří Heřman
Stage design: Tomáš Rusín
Costume design: Zuzana Rusínová-Štefunková


Gioachino Rossini: Le compte Ory

The amorous intrigues of a crafty count and the virtuous Adèle

This capricious opuscule about a womanizing count who is set on winning over a virtuous countess is based on a medieval ballad about a notorious French Don Juan. This comic opera, where the desire for amorous adventures awakens the wildest fantasies, sets the most incredible traps and is not afraid to take risks or do whatever it takes, is a joy from beginning to end. Le Compte Ory is one of Rossini’s best operas. The work is known for its virtuoso and extremely demanding singing parts, and bursts with musical ideas from the stage as well as the orchestra pit. Rossini, a well-known bon vivant and lover of the culinary arts, wrote this as his penultimate opera in 1828. This production of the opera, where the scheming count eventually becomes the darling of the public, will be the Czech premiere.

Premiere: 26 May 2017 at the Mahen Theatre
Details of the performance

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Fri   26/5/2017 at 7 pm
Sun 28/5/2017 at 7 pm
Thu  1/6/2017 at 7 pm
Fri    2/6/2017 at 7 pm
Sun 11/6/2017 at 7 pm

Conductor: Robert Kružík
Director: Lenka Flory
Stage design: Lenka Flory
Costume design: Lenka Flory