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19. 4. 2016

The hight of the opera season - Elektra by Strauss at the State Opera

Under the musical direction of maestro Roland Böer and renowned British director Keith Warner, the State Opera presents a new production of Richard Strauss's Elektra. The main character is portrayed by top British soprano Susan Bullock (picture). She successfully made her debut with this role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. In addition, the production is featuring other cast members of international importance: Clytemnestra will be brought to life by a prominent English singer Rosalind Plowright, Chrysothemis will be played by German soprano Anna Gabler, Aigisthos by tenor Richard Berkeley-Steele and Orestes by Miguelangelo Cavalcanti. The set is designed by respected Slovak designer Boris Kudlička, who debuted at the State Opera last year with Salome. The premiere, last before the start of the general reconstruction of the building of the State Opera, is scheduled for June 10, 2016.

"The story is set in a contemporary museum of ancient history, in which a young girl is introduced to the life of the mythical Elektra. Through the work of Sophocles, the tragedy of Agamemnon's daughter, she gradually feels an awakening of her long-suppressed memories and demons. The viewer becomes a witness to a personal and sincere attempt at self-knowledge, initiated by a very strong, but fictional sequence of events. The crucial question for us was whether you can decide to face the truth by confronting a lie,"explains the director Keith Warner."The reason why we set the story in a contemporary minimalist museum is that the various historical artefacts may well serve as mechanisms that enable introspection," says set designer Boris Kudlička.

 

The National Theatre entrusted the musical arrangement to the renowned German conductor Roland Böer. "Elektra represents the top of Strauss´s expressionist work. Its successful staging does not require just a mechanical knowledge of the score; it is important to understand why the composer created it and what he really meant to say by it. I think that from a musical point of view, Elektra does not require much personal interpretation. I will try my best to respect the composer's original intentions, "says Roland Boer.

 

The main actress Susan Bullock, who is the winner of the British national award for contribution to opera, is famous around the world thanks to her unrepeatable rendition of Elektra. Roland Boer said about her: "I have heard Susan in many roles already, but I remember when she sang Elektra in Frankfurt. She was wonderful, perfect, simply Elektra!" The performance of Elektra is the centrepiece of the opera season and will be featured only five times - June 10th, 14th, 18th, 22nd, and 25th, 2016 at the State Opera. The performance is co-produced with the San Francisco Opera.

 

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3. 9. 2014

La traviata at the State Opera with new protagonists

For two nights in September and October the leading Slovak soprano Eva Hornyáková premieres in the role of Violetta Valéry in Giuseppe Verdi's opera La traviata at the State Opera.

The singer returns to the State Opera after her successful concert performance of Puccini's La Rondine (The Swallow) in May this year. Hornyáková will sing the role of Violetta for the first time in Prague on Friday, 5 September 2014 and her singing partner will be Tomáš Juhás for whom Friday´s performance is also a debut in the role of Alfredo Germont at the State Opera. The role of Giorgio Germont is sung by the excellent Svatopluk Sem.

"I believe that with this new cast we will bring a fresh perspective into this contemporary and very appealingly staged production and that the pleasure of rehearsing with soloists, the choir and the orchestra will be passed on to our audience,” wishes Martin Leginus, Music Director and conductor of the State Opera performances.

 

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"The first opera I've seen as a child was La traviata. Such an experience can never be forgotten, I still had goose bumps remembering the show long after. For this intense feeling I have decided to study opera singing and Violetta was naturally my artistic dream. Since then I have had the opportunity to sing Violetta in Lübeck, Germany and in two Spanish productions. Now my dream will also come true in Prague under the baton of Martin Leginus,” rejoices Eva Hornyáková.

 Hornyáková will also sing in Verdi's La Traviata at the State Opera on 25 October 2014 with Aleš Briscein in the role as Alfred and Jakub Kettner as Giorgio. La traviata was on the repertoire of our opera house (today's State Opera) from the very beginning of its existence, when it was brought over from the Estates Theatre.

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