Performed in the original Czech with Czech and English subtitles.
A mysterious femme fatale turns the lives of everyone she meets upside down… An imaginative comedy with a mysterious detective-like plot based on the play by Karel Čapek, brilliantly directed by David Radok and starring Annalena Persson, winner of tthe Richard Wagner Competition in Bayreuth. The television recording of the production won the Czech Crystal Award and the Dagmar and Václav Havel VIZE 97 Foundation Award at the Golden Prague international festival.
Premiere: 21st November 2014, Janáček Theatre
The story of the singer Emilia Marty, who has lived for more than three hundred years thanks to the elixir of life… A look at the eccentric world of opera divas, degenerate aristocrats and superficial bourgeois. This year’s two performances celebrate the 90th anniversary of the opera’s premiere at Brno’s Theatre on the Ramparts in 1926. In 2017 the Janáček Opera will perform this opera at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. The production originated in collaboration with Opera Göteborg.
Janáček’s penultimate opera, based on a play of the same name by Karel Čapek, is about the desire for immortality but also about the infinite fatigue and horror to those whom death is denied. The main character is an opera singer, Emilia Marty, formerly Elina Makropulos, the daughter of the physician of Emperor Rudolf II. Thanks to the elixir of life she has lived for more than three hundred years. She gradually ceases to enjoy life and becomes exhausted, lonely and cynical. This mysterious femme fatale turns upside down the life of anyone she meets. Čapek’s absurd comedy is a mystery thriller that looks into the eccentric world of the opera diva, the decadent aristocracy and the superficial bourgeoisie. Janáček prepared a highly impressive musical drama. The world premiere of the opera took place in 1926 in the National Theatre Brno. It has become one of Janáček’s most popular operas and is often staged in the most prestigious opera houses all over the world. The National Theatre Brno is preparing a new production within the ‘Year of Czech Music’ to celebrate the 160th anniversary of the composer’s birth. David Radok, one of the most prominent Czech directors, was invited to collaborate on the production. It was his first time working with the National Theatre Brno and the first time that he had been directed this particular opera.
Janáček Opera Ensemble and Orchestra of the National Theatre Brno