Guest of the Opera
Roman Janál studied the violin at the Plzeň Conservatory and voice at the Music Academy in Sofia, where, while still a student, he appeared as a guest at the State Opera (Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia). His first engagement was in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, afterwards he joined the Chamber Opera (later on, Opera Mozart) in Prague. In 1994, he began performing as a guest at the Plzeň Opera, portraying the roles of Tomsky in The Queen of Spades, Valentin in Faust, Don Giovanni, Don Pizarro in Fidelio and Enrico Asthon in Lucia di Lammermoor. In 1995, following his acclaimed debuts as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, he was named a soloist of the State Opera Prague. Since 1997, he has been a soloist of the National Theatre in Prague, where his extensive repertoire has included the roles of Gregorio in Roméo et Juliette, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Escamillo in Carmen, Alexandre in Martinů’s one-act opera buffa Alexandre bis, Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Silvio in Pagliacci, Germont in La traviata, as well as Tomš in The Kiss, Kalina in The Secret, Vladislav in Dalibor, Vok in The Devil’s Wall, Bohuš in The Jacobin, Absalon in Fibich’s The Fall of Arkun, Veselchak in Shostakovich’s satirical opera Orango, Shchelkalov in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Carlo Gérard in Giordano’s Andrea Chénier. He has made numerous tours with the National Theatre and the State Opera Prague, including of Spain, where at the Teatro Real in Madrid he portrayed the role of Verva in Robert Wilson’s acclaimed production of Janáček’s opera Fate. Roman Janál has performed at the Bohuslav Martinů Days festival in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek, at the Europalia Brusel, the Martinů Festival in Amsterdam (conducted by Christopher Hogwood), the Bratislava Music Festival, the Prague Spring, Smetana’s Litomyšl, the International Music Festival in Český Krumlov, Janáček May, Saint Wenceslas Celebrations, Dvořák Autumn, Festival Pontes, the Czech-Saxon Music Festival and Concertus Moraviae. He has sung at the Czech Dreams concerts held within the Year of Czech Music, appeared at festivals in France, Italy and Germany, at the Festival of Contemporary Music in Boston, at the opera festivals in San Remo, Ravenna and elsewhere. He has also performed at concerts in Australia, Korea, Japan and France. Roman Janál has worked with renowned conductors (C. Richter, J. Fiore, H. Griffiths, J. Latham Koenig, J. Bělohlávek, O. Lenárd, G. Albrecht, etc.), as well as orchestras and ensembles (the Prague Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Prague Philharmonia, Virtuosi di Praga, Talich Chamber Orchestra, etc.). His discography includes the CDs Opera Recital (Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by O. Kukal; Radioservis), Gypsy Melodies (with the pianist K. Košárek; Supraphon), recordings of Bohuslav Martinů’s operas The Tears of the Knife and The Voice of the Forest, Dvořák’s The Stubborn Lovers (Supraphon) and Vanda (Orfeo), Janáček’s The Excursions of Mr. Brouček (BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by J. Bělohlávek; Deutsche Grammophon, 2008), the album Opera Gala (in tandem with Dagmar Pecková; Supraphon), CDs of Ryba’s Czech Christmas Mass (Multisonic), Krček’s oratorio He Who Is, and Vaňhal’s Sacred Arias (ArcoDiva). Since 1994, he has collaborated with Czech Radio, for which he has recorded an album of opera arias and song cycles by contemporary Czech composers (J. Teml, J. Krček, O. Kukal, Z. Lukáš, P. Eben, K. Pexidr, J. Klusák, Z. Šesták, L. Hurník, J. Pavlica, L. Sluka, J. Hanuš, Z. Zahradník, J. Filas). The other noted CDs he has recorded include W. A. Mozart – Highlights from Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte (Virtuosi di Praga; Lupulus), A. Dvořák: Te Deum (Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by V. Válek; Clarton), and A. Dvořák: Gipsy Songs (Clarton). He has worked with Czech Television on film versions of the Josef Berg operas The Return of Ulysses and European Tourism, as well as of Bohuslav Martinů’s The Tears of the Knife and The Voice of the Forest. In 1995, Janál won the Antonín Dvořák International Vocal Competition in Karlovy Vary. He is an honorary member of the International Antonín Dvořák Vocal Centre. He taught at the Prague Conservatory, and at the Academy of Music and the International Conservatory in Prague. His portrayal of Pollux in a National Theatre production of Rameau’s opera Castor et Pollux earned him the 1999 Thalia Prize.
Photo: Vlado Machal