The National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra
The opera Don Hrabal depicts the final years in the life of the celebrated Czech (Czechoslovak) author. By no means, however, is it merely a “portrait of the artist as an old man”. Instead, it presents Hrabal as a lonely Mohican, a dreamer seeking beauty in the everyday and the ordinary, a brilliant storyteller and witty commentator. By the medium of the three essential women in his life, Hrabal concurrently reveals his innermost feelings, freely guiding us through them against the backdrop of the history of the second half of the 20th century. Assisting him on his voyage is a chorus of his beloved cats and a flock of pigeons, with the latter bearing witness to his very final moments before his fall out of the window of the Bulovka hospital in Prague.
Besides composing, the contemporary Czech artist Miloš Orson Štědroň also writes texts which he sets to music, with the fruit of his work being remarkable cross–genre music-theatre projects. He has paid systematic attention to distinguished Czech figures (Ivan Blatný, Jaroslav Hašek, František Kupka, Josef Gočár, Jan Hus, Johann Gregor Mendel, Václav Havel, Jan Zábrana, Josef Škvorecký). Following A Human Tragicomedy, to his own libretto, inspired by the writer/philosopher Ladislav Klíma, which was premiered at the Estates Theatre in 2003, Don Hrabal is Orson’s second opera.