Concert performance The National Theatre

Noye’s Fludde

Benjamin Britten

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Conductor: David Švec
Stage direction cooperation: Magdalena Švecová
Light-design: Jan Komárek
Chorus master: Jiří Chvála

The child roles are sung by Czech Philharmonic Children´s Choir members
Kühn Children Choir National Theatre Orchestra Members
Students of the Prague municipal secondary school and musical school under the supervision of Eva Bublová and Michal Reiser
Students of the the Prague Conservatoire school under the supervision of Jakub Kydlíček

A concert performance of an opera for child and adult musicians marking the 80th anniversary of the co-operation between the Czech Philharmonic Children’s Choir and the National Theatre.

The renowned Czech Philharmonic Children’s Choir has been a regular, welcome and acclaimed collaborator of the National Theatre Opera over the long term. It debuted at the National Theatre back in 1936 – then as the Prague Radio Children’s Choir, headed by the chorus master Jan Kühn – within the Prague premiere of Bohuslav Martinů’s The Miracles of Mary. Today, our audiences can see and hear it in the productions of Dvořák’s The Jacobin, Bizet’s Carmen, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen. Over the past few years, the choir has also performed in Martinů’s The Miracles of Mary, Britten’s Gloriana and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, and is scheduled to appear in Orff’s opera Der Mond, which the National Theatre will be staging together with another one-act opera of his, Die Kluge, as the first premiere of the 2016/17 season.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the partnership between the Czech Philharmonic Children’s Choir and the National Theatre Opera. To celebrate this astonishing anniversary, we have decided to present for the very first time at the National Theatre a remarkable work in which the world of child and adult musicians, as well the world of children’s imagination and naivety, symbolically blend with the wisdom of “old men” – Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde, a piece not generally known in our country, written in 1958 to a text of the 15th-century Chester Mystery Plays, which recounts the Biblical story of the Great Flood.
Britten’s opera about the faithful Noah, who obeys God’s order and builds the arc, on which he, his family and a host of animals survive the devastating flood, combines hyperbole, witty humour and playfulness with poetry and forcible imagination. Its small scope notwithstanding, the opera requires a wide variety of performers, made up both child and adult singers, professional and amateur musicians. In addition to the traditional orchestral instruments and piano, organ and recorders, Britten’s opera employs plenty of exotic and invented instruments and sound-generating objects, including a wind machine, hand bells, mugs and even sandpaper. Under the direction of Magdalena Švecová, the concert promises to be a feast for the ears and eyes alike.


October 2016