Co-produced with Welsh National Opera
Today the verdict will be pronounced and the guilty will be sacrificed to the law… The people in the courtroom where the trial of Dalibor is taking place are in an uproar. Is he guilty of murder or was he just defending his right? The victim’s sister, Milada, is implacably calling for severe punishment for her brother’s death, but a face-to-face meeting with Dalibor shatters her conviction. How does the king decide, at a moment when everyone present seems to be playing their own political game…
Smetana’s Dalibor is much more than just a romantic tragedy with beautiful music based on the medieval tale of the Knight Dalibor of Kozojedy, who learned to play the violin in prison, which was first heard on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone of the National Theatre. This drama about the desire for revenge, amorous passion and political intrigue is an extraordinary work to which it is not easy to find the key. British director David Pountney is one of the great admirers and promoters of Czech opera. The Brno audience could see that he can present a view revealing the deepest layers of human dramas during his production of Janáček’s Her Stepdaughter (Jenůfa) in 2004. Together with him, the excellent conductor Tomáš Hanus returns to Brno on this occasion to rehearse Smetana’s Dalibor, which has not been heard on the Brno stages for almost thirty years, as part of the Smetana200 project.
Premiere: 2 February 2024 at the Janáček Theatre
Staged in Czech original with Czech, English and German subtitles.