Tag: State Opera Prague

Love vs Authority: The Timeless Battle, in an Opera

Czech Baroque composer Josef Mysliveček’s opera Olimpiade is a case of ‘doubles or nothing.’ First, the plot of the opera: It’s about the battle between love and authority when two kings choose the politically-correct mate for their children. And about two friends, Licida and Megacle, who must choose between desire and friendship. And second, the staging of the opera: If it hadn’t been produced for two premiere nights only, and…

News from the Newts

Even a Heavy-Metal “Aria” Features in State Opera’s War with the Newts Do a heavy-metal aria, a mini pop-musical with video advertisements, canned laughter, and other way-past post-war techniques “belong” in an opera? These techniques are incorporated into the State Opera’s production, making War with the Newts (Válka s Mloky) a presentation worthy of your serious consideration. The two-act opera by Vladimír Franz (also informally known as “the tattoo man”…

Monday, February 6, 2012: Enchanting Opera

Enchanting Opera At first they wouldn’t let any of us into the National Theater through the front door. The front door is for sissies apparently, which we certainly were not. So we stood outside in the cold on the piazza in groups led by pretty young women wearing funny hats and holding sign posts. Then the Frogmen came. They yelled at us through loudspeakers in languages that can only be…

Friday, January 13,2012: Lucky Day

Opera’s Lucky Day WeiLong Tao had a tormenting dream as a boy in China: he hoped someday to find work. When he dared dream bigger, he hoped the work would be in a factory. Well, the boy from a village near Shanghai has indeed found successful work: as a tenor singing opera on major stages from California to La Scala — and all over Europe, including on the Czech National…

Wednesday, Jan 4, 2012:Fish Women & Gorillas

Editorial: Fish Women and Tumbling Gorillas Do you still think “opera” means fat ladies singing with spears? Imagine this: you’ve been invited to an official pre-opera press conference. Your invitation warns, “The less able-bodied should bring their headlamps and hip flasks.” You go to the cellar of the National Theatre, still in your winter coat and hat. You sit quietly in rows with other journalists, inside a massive wire cage…

Tuesday, October 25, 2011:What He Said!

What He Said! (He Hates Ballet …?) On Oct 12 on Opus Osm you could read choreographer Jan Kodet’s amusing explanation of how most modern guys react to the ballet. He says that they only visit their first ballet as a result of a negotiated settlement with their girlfriends. But then the guys are surprised to find that they actually like ballet. Is it possible? Could Mr Kodet be right?…

Wednesday, Sept 21, 2011: Opera’s ‘Emotional Park’

Building Opera’s ‘Emotional Park’ “People usually say opera is difficult, that they don’t understand it. Well, I think it might be better if we don’t try to understand it.” That may be an unusual point of view, considering that it comes from Rocc. As of January 1st next year he will be the new artistic director of Prague’s National Theatre, combined with the State Opera. The tall, thin young man…

Tuesday, September 13, 2011:Hungarian Butterfly

The Hungarian Butterfly Csilla Boross enters the press conference with the dramatic flair of a classic opera soprano – full of energy, smiling, the focus of attention – and with something more. She is not afraid to look journalists in the eye. This is our cue: Something joyful is happening, and Mrs Boross wants everyone to join the party. The Budapest native and winner of the prestigious Czech Thália Award…