Epic of Gilgamesh / Dido and Aeneas
Man loves because he loves.
Author: Bohuslav Martinů, Henry Purcell
Musical Preparation: Marko Ivanović, Václav Luks
Conductor: Marko Ivanović, Václav Luks
Director: Jiří Heřman
Set Design: Dragan Stojčevski
Costume Design: Alexandra Grusková
Lighting Design: Daniel Tesař
Choreography: Jan Kodet
Dramaturgy: Patricie Částková
Chorus Master: Pavel Koňárek
Assistant Conductor: Robert Kružík
Assistant Stage Director: Otakar Blaha, Zuzana Fischerová
Performed in the original English with Czech and English surtitles
There are myths which cut across cultures and lose nothing of their relevance even with the passing centuries. Myths which deal with the fundamental questions of human existence, and those which recount great love stories. Among the earliest of them is the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, considered to be the oldest work of literature in world culture. It was this tale of the merciless ruler Uruk Gilgamesh, his friendship with the wild man Enkidu and their philosophical dialogue about life on earth and after death which became the inspiration for one of Martinů’s greatest works.
One the great love stories which has inspired countless works of art is the tragic love of the Carthaginian queen Dido for the Trojan hero Aeneas. The story, based on the fourth book of Virgil’s epic The Aeneid, became the template for more than a hundred operatic versions, some of which are among the groundbreaking works of the opera genre. One such work is the opera by the great composer of English baroque Henry Purcell, whose skill in capturing the most subtle nuances of human emotions in music breathed immortality into the unfortunate Dido.