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Opera The National Theatre

From the House of the Dead

Leoš Janáček

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Information

Musical preparation: Robert Jindra
Conductor: Robert Jindra, David Švec
Stage director: Daniel Špinar
Sets: Lucia Škandíková
Costumes: Iva Němcová
Light-design: Martin Špetlík
Chorus master: Martin Buchta, Miriam Němcová
Choreography: Radim Vizváry
Dramaturgy: Ondřej Hučín

Leoš Janáček’s final opera, was inspired by Dostoyevsky’s novel The House of the Dead, reflecting the author’s own experience as a political prisoner in a Siberian penal camp amid a wide scale of convicts condemned for various crimes. In the opera, Janáček put aside the repeatedly treated stories of great female dramatis personae and immersed himself in the world of male “crime and punishment”. The metaphor of “the dead house” gives rise to the composer’s peculiar, anti-dramatic conception of the opera. Even though the life in the camp is depicted lushly and extremely realistically, it all serves as mere coulisse, an ever-repeating and depressing rite, a pretended life. The prisoners actually perceive as real life their past, into which they obsessively return, some of them telling shocking stories so as to make sure they are still alive.

Photos: Patrik Borecký

The opera is staged in czech original and english surtitles are used in the performance.

Duration of the performance: 2 hours and 15 minutes, 1 intermission

Cast