For the 250th birth anniversary of the musical genius, Ludwig van Beethoven, Ballet of the National Theatre Brno, in cooperation with the Janáček Opera, prepared a joint premiere of a unique ballet project, Beethoven. The reason for creating this original work is not only the inspiration from this major anniversary, but mainly the artistic attractiveness of Beethoven’s great and exceptional character, his troubled life and brilliant work. Beethoven had a difficult life, crushed practically from childhood by his despotic father, the ensuing health problems culminating in complete deafness… This would have been probably the end for any another composer, but not for Beethoven. We can hardly conceive of the scope of his oeuvre, created despite a complete handicap and its incredibly deep and inspirational value. The music for the ballet is taken from his symphonies, where a special position is given to the 9th Symphony with Schiller’s Ode to Joy. We are no closer to the ideal of this poem than in the period when this symphony of symphonies was written. Beethoven was a genius calling for freedom and humanity and even after 250 years his voice, enclosed in his immortal and supreme works, still resonates.
The choreographer, Mário Radačovský, does not hide his admiration for Beethoven’s musical talent as this is his second piece on Beethoven. He created his first Beethoven in 2015 for the American ballet company in Grand Rapids. This piece was nevertheless completely different from the one produced in National Theatre Brno. With new libretto, set design and foremost with new choreography, this is a compelling new piece of large magnitude. Beethoven is a worthy contribution to the worldwide celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven´s birthday. The new production will feature soloists and corps de ballet of the NdB Ballet, as well as soloists and the choir of the Janáček Opera, the Janáček Opera Orchestra and the piano virtuoso, Jiří Hrubý. The musical dramaturgy was created in collaboration of the choreographer with the conductor, Jakub Klecker. The ballet will feature Beethoven’s symphonic work in the form of the 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th symphony, as well as his chamber music represented by piano sonatas.
Just as Beethoven tore down the accustomed manners, Mário Radačovský decided for an unusual artistic solution too. This applies especially to the non-traditional arrangement of the stage, where all three artistic ensembles will be present, and where the ballet will be danced closer to the spectators, on the proscenium and at the front part of the stage. Artists unusually close to the audience promise more intensive experience. Designer of the set design who cooperated with the choreographer, is a well-known Brno based painter, Jaroslav Milfajt. Costume design was done by Ludmila Várossová, who, as well as the set designer, has done multiple works for the National Theatre Brno in the past. The original ballet Beethoven is inspired by life and oeuvre of the music genius and is aspiring to please not only the ballet lovers but also those, who love opera and Beethoven´s orchestral and chambre pieces.
Singing the solos are ladies Jana Šrejma Kačírková, Daniela Straková-Šedrlová, Veronika Hajnová Fialová, Jana Hrochová and gentlemen Aleš Briscein (as a guest), Richard Samek, David Nykl and Jiří Sulženko.
Premiere (new date): 13th of November 2021 at Janáček Theatre