The next two seasons of the Janáček Opera at the National Theatre Brno will be in the spirit of the Year of Czech Music 2024. This year's first premiere will therefore belong to the Czech opera The Jacobin by Antonín Dvořák. Thanks to the OperaVision project, the opera production directed by Martin Glaser will reach audiences all over the world. Czech Television will record the performance for the CT ART channel.
The Jacobin is often seen as an idyllic picture of the Czech Enlightenment, but along with the beautiful music it contains many more themes that are still relevant today. Directed by Martin Glaser and conducted by Jakub Klecker, the audience can expect both humour and drama and, above all, a happy ending with the singing cast of Pavla Vykopalová (Julie), Roman Hoza (Bohuš), Jan Št'áva (Burgrave), Lucie Kaňková (Terinka), Petr Levíček (Benda) and others. The premiere will take place on Sunday 8 October 2023 at 19:00 at the Janáček Theatre.
"It's more like several stories that gradually intertwine, get tangled up and for a while it seems that all the frolicking will turn into a dark drama, but in the end everything turns out well, evil is punished, old mistakes are forgiven and true love wins. And that's what makes it so Czech, small but nice. Bohemianism, or a kind of exploration of the national character, seems to me to be a strong and compelling theme. How we can laugh at everything, how quickly we bend over backwards, how fearlessly we can stand our ground at the crucial moment and long for great things and freedom, how we get moved and change our minds in a flash under the rush of emotions. The Jacobin is a kind of small "Czech animal story", its heroes oscillate between figures and big dramatic characters, exactly according to what is more suitable in the given situation. And everything is carried by the music as a dramatic factor and the way the characters communicate with each other - they grin in the face with a mocking song, they worship their superiors with a solemn serenade, they confess their sadness quite naturally, or they use music to reveal their true feelings," says director Martin Glaser.
Dvořák's The Jacobin, along with Rusalka, The Devil and Kate, Dimitrije and Armida, is one of the composer's masterpieces and presents a charming picture of a Czech town at the end of the eighteenth century. Dvořák filled the story of the return of the lost son of a nobleman who became involved with the Jacobins in the revolution in distant France, and the failed courtship of a haughty Burgrave with masterful music stemming from the best domestic traditions. He has masterfully captured each of the characters and endowed them with a full-blooded character - in particular, the village teacher Benda with his serenade is one of the best things the composer has created. And it is the power, immediacy, warmth and kind humour of Dvořák's music that elevates this sentimental story to the ranks of the true jewels of Czech music.
Musical staging: Jakub Klecker
Director: Martin Glaser
Scenery: Pavel Borák
Costumes: David Janosek
Lighting design: Martin Špetlík
Count William of Harasov: David Szendiuch
Bohuš of Harasov: Roman Hoza
Julie, Bohuš's wife: Pavla Vykopalová
Adolf of Harasov: Tadeáš Hoza
Burgrave Filip: Jan Št'ava
Jiří, the bachelor teacher: Aleš Briscein
Benda: Petr Levíček
Terinka, Benda's daughter: Lucie Kaňková, Eva Esterková
Lotinka, the sprout: Jitka Zerhauová
Choir and Orchestra of Janáček Opera National Theatre Brno, Children's Choir Brno