Jiří Heřman

He studied singing at the Pilsen Conservatory and opera directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. At the present time, he is one of the foremost Czech opera stage directors. His productions are characterised by a suggestive permeation of singing, narration, space, movement and light in an abstract stage form referring to a kind of ritual of soul. Following Northern Nights, a scenic rendering of song cycles by Robert Schumann, Petr Eben and Jaroslav Křička (2000), in 2001 he implemented with the Club for Modern Opera the project entitled Dvakrát nová opera (New Opera Twice), a couple of chamber one–acters by Michal Nejtek (Dementia praecox) and Marko Ivanović (The Maiden and Death), for which he received an award at the Opera 2003 festival in Prague. Between 2002 and 2004 he produced at the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen Saint–Saëns’s Samson et Dalila and Wagner’s Der fl iegende Holländer, with the latter being nominated for the Alfréd Radok Prize in the category Production of 2004 and awarded the Sazka and Divadelní noviny Prize for stage direction and the Alfréd Radok Prize for set design (P. Svoboda). As the first independent project of his association in spe, in the autumn of 2004 at Prague’s NoD Universal Space and at Schlachthaus Theater Bern he staged Lamenti (music: Michal Nejtek, libretto: Francesco Micieli), an original work inspired by Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna. In October 2005, this production represented the Czech Republic at the Riocenacontemporanea international theatre festival in Rio de Janeiro. Within the Strings of Autumn 2005 festival in Prague, he presented to great acclaim in the non–traditional space of the former Church of St Mary Magdalene in Malá Strana, Prague Benjamin Britten’s spiritual opera Curlew River. He was appointed the new Artistic Director of the Opera of the National Theatre in Prague at the beginning of April 2007. In May 2007, he staged Claudio Monteverdi´s Orfeo with Italian conductor Robert Gini at The Estates Theatre and in 2009 he staged Dvořák´s Rusalka at the National Theatre. His next productions were The Miracles of Mary (2009) by Bohuslav Martinů, Parsifal by Richard Wagner and The Jacobin by Antonín Dvořák (both 2011), in March 2012 a Czech premiere of Benjamin Britten's Gloriana, and Zdeněk Fibich's The Fall of Arkun (2014).