The most important things that we look for during our journey through life can be found only in ourselves – love, compassion, forgiveness… Are we capable of this or not? This is what the operas of the coming season 2019/20 will be about. The search for perfect love, for one’s lost youth, for one’s conscience or humanity …
The search for love…
The Tales of Hoffmann
The more we love, the more we suffer, or could it be the fate of artists to stagger from one woman to another, trying to find true love? At the very least that seems to be the fate of the poet Hoffmann. Each of his women seems to be the right one at first glance, but the dreams of the enamoured soon become nightmares. Charming Olympia turns out to really be just a puppet with a key, while Antonia loves music more than anything else, and it eventually brings her death, and Giulietta is nought but an embodiment of low passions behind which murder and destruction lurk. But wait - are they actually all only figments of the artist’s bizarre imagination? Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, inspired by the life and stories of poet and composer E.T.A. Hoffmann, is a permanent part of the opera repertoire not only thanks to its beautiful music but also to the unique and picturesque world it depicts, which always presents a challenge for producers. Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour…
Conductor: Ondrej Olos
Stage design: Simona Rybáková
Costumes: Jakub Kopecký
Premiere: 20th September 2019 at the Janáček Theatre
The search for youth…
A silver rose is a symbol of love, but what if a girl falls head-over-heels in love not with the rose-giver but with a mere messenger? When the authorial duo of composer Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal set out to produce a comic opera, it is certain that the work will conceal far more than a simple series of witty scenes from the lives of the cream of mid-18th century Viennese society comfortably ensconced in the graceful rhythms of waltz. The story of marriage-obsessed bumpkin baron Ochs, who longs for a certain young Sophie and her substantial dowry, serves as the foundation for further situations which are less comic in nature but all the more human for it. The search for eternal youth and the fear of getting old, infidelity and unselfishness in love – these are the topics of the new production directed by Jiří Heřman with a music arrangement by Robert Kružík. With it one of Strauss’ best operas is returning to the repertoire after thirty-five years.
Conductor: Robert Kružík
Director: Jiří Heřman
Stage design: Tomáš Rusín
Costumes: Zuzana Štefunková-Rusínová
Premiere: 29th November 2019 at the Janáček Theatre.
The search for a conscience….
The opera ensemble will enter 2020 with another world premiere of a piece tailor-made for it. Monument is a work by outstanding Czech director David Radok (and his first as a librettist) and the composer and conductor Marko Ivanović. The authors were inspired by the life story of Otakar Švec, who was forced by the powers that be to compete with many other artists in a contest to create a monument for J.V. Stalin. Not even his effort to solve the situation by designing a monument which was impossible to realize prevented Švec from winning the contest, and he took his life shortly before the uncovering of the completed work. David Radok and Marko Ivanović have created a timeless piece concerned with moral and artistic dilemmas - for what is the purpose of art without cleanness of conscience?
Conductor: Marko Ivanović
Director: David Radok
Stage design: David Radok
Costumes: Zuzana Ježková
Premiere: 7th February 2020 at the Janáček Theatre.
The search for humanity….
The Greek Passion
We are people persecuted by people. The topic of refugees is one which is currently being discussed in all kinds of ways, but even though it may seem that this theme is one that’s appeared only recently, it has been around since the dawn of humanity. It is also reflected in works of art, and one of the greatest humanist messages was left to us by the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů in his opera The Greek Passion, which was inspired by the novel Christ Recrucified. The arrival of a group of refugees at the village of Lycovrissi, where the inhabitants have just been through casting for the roles of saints in the local passion plays, unleashes a dramatic course of events which becomes a test of the faith and humanity of all involved.
Conductor: Robert Kružík
Director: Jiří Heřman
Stage design: Dragan Stojčevski
Costumes: Alexandra Grusková
Premiere: 7th October 2020 at the Janáček Theatre.
The search for… Ferdy the Ant, work of all kinds!
Ferdy the Ant
The season should end with a smile, and therefore the final production will be a children’s opera that shows how an opera is made. For a venture like this there couldn’t be a better guide than Ferdy the Ant. He knows everything and can succeed at everything, from repairing a TV to taming a grasshopper. The author, Brno composer Evžen Zámečník, took his inspiration from Ondřej Sekora´s popular children’s stories, which are set in a world inhabited by clever insects. His work had its successful world premiere on the stage of the Janáček Theatre in 1971.
Conductor: Jakub Klecker
Director: Magdalena Švecová
Stage design: David Janošek
Costumes: Zuzana Přidalová
Premiere: 22nd July 2020 at the Janáček Theatre.