The Bartered Bride
Smetana’s anecdote about a bride who is sold by her bridegroom to himself ranks among the most successful comic operas. Originally, it was composed as a Singspiel with spoken dialogues, and the composer himself denoted it as “playing” and viewed it as a welcome distraction from serious operas. Nonetheless, this work was not born easily, and Smetana refined his specific “national style” meticulously, so that only the fourth version of the opera became final. The Bartered Bride has been a symbol of the proverbial Czech musicality and sense of humour ever since it came into being over 150 years ago.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams – Arvo Pärt - Libor Vaculík
Choreographer and director Libor Vaculík frequently chooses seemingly unfeasible dramatic works (Valmont, Miss Julia, The Kerosene Lamps) for his dance creations. This time, he and his ensemble are going to render in the “language” of dance the psychological drama A Streetcar Named Desire. It is based on the 1947 eponymous theatre drama by Tennessee Williams, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize a year later, and made into a film by Elia Kazan in 1951 with Vivien Leigh a Marlon Brando in the main roles. Danced to the music of the world-famous Estonian composer Arvo Pärt and directed by Petr Malásek, this chamber production oscillates between dance theatre and drama. Libor Vaculík does not want to shock his audience with an epic work; on the contrary, and in line with his style, he sketches a delicate and sensitive portrayal of each character. The costumes are designed by the renowned costume designer Roman Šolc, and the stage is created by Radek Honc.
The Little Sweep
This opera is composed for children and adults in their roles of both actors and spectators. The first part, Let’s Make an Opera!, involves the audience: in the course of the play, an opera is created and rehearsed, and it is then performed in the second part. Its main character is little Sam, who is used by the sweep-master Black Bob to clean the chimneys where no adult can go. Sam gets stuck in a chimney, but is rescued by some children who are playing hide-and-seek in a room, and who then help him get away from the merciless Black Bob. Composer Benjamin Britten ranks – next to Henry Purcell, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Edward Elgar –among the most significant British composers, and among the most highly esteemed 20th century composers, in line with Stravinsky, Schönberg, Bartók, Ravel, Janáček and others. The Little Sweep holds a specific position among his world-famous operas. Although the otherwise complicated Britten was always close to children’s soul, his work includes only one opera that focuses on child audiences in this way. The performance is produced by the experienced director and artistic head of the Little Theatre, Petr Hašek.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice
If the world-renowned musical composer duo Webber and Rice had not been attracted by the life story of Eva Maria Duarte de Perón, born on 7 May 1919, then this second wife of the Argentinian president Juan Perón would have probably been known only to historians specialising in Latin America. Her charisma, which helped her rise from the poverty-stricken countryside to the position of First Lady of her country and a modern-time icon, was also transferred to the famous musical. Since its first staging at London’s West End in 1978, this musical has been enjoying great popularity on Czech stages, especially in the outstanding translation of Michal Prostějovský.
In Czech translation with English subtitles.
P. I. Tchaikovsky
Ballet fairy-tale en pointe
Transformed into a new dance production, this beautiful fairy-tale will delight not only little spectators, but also their parents and all adherents of the classical ballet en pointe. The soloists of the South Bohemian Theatre appear in this version of The Sleeping Beauty along with the members of the Bohemia Ballet and the students of the Dance Conservatory of the Capital City of Prague. The costumes and the stage design are created by one of the leading Czech theatre designers, Josef Jelínek, and the performance is choreographed by Jaroslav Slavický, the director of the Dance Conservatory of the Capital City of Prague and the artistic director of the Bohemia Ballet.