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Forgotten works will open the new opera season in The National Theatre

1. 9. 2015

The Opening Concert 2015/2016 will open with the Festive Overture in C Major by Bedřich Smetana from 1868 written in honour of laying the foundation stone of the National Theatre on 8 September 2015. The National Theatre Orchestra will play this and other rare compositions under the baton of artistic director of the Opera Petr Kofroň.

A novel program consisting of nineteen orchestral numbers from the period 1850- 1973, whose scores are stored in the music archives of The National Theatre, were discovered and prepared by Peter Kofroň in cooperation with the chief dramaturg of the National Theatre Opera and the State Opera Ondřej Hučín.

"This time we focused on the so called the dark side of the music archive, the music little-known or completely unknown, forgotten in the archival shelves and simply collecting dust. Although roughly half of them come from rather renowned and certainly unforgettable authors such as Otakar Jeremiáš, Zdeněk Liška, Václav Trojan, František Škroup, Zdeněk Fibich or even Bedřich Smetana," says Ondřej Hučín.

The Smetana Festive Overture in C major was played only twice over the last half-century at the National Theatre, in 1973 at the matinee in honour of the famous diva Ema Destinnová and the last time seven years ago, during the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the reopening of the theatre.

Philandering (Na zaletech) is the ballet pantomime of several authors, among others Charles Forgeron, which is the pseudonym of the former head of the opera, conductor and composer Karel Kovařovic. The seriousness of his profession probably did not allow him to sign his name under a scenic pasticcio of a lighter genre. The concert will feature a playful polka, which is in Act 1 of the ballet.

Another rare item in musical archives of the National Theatre is scenic music, which was composed for the play by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti The Drum of Fire by another icon of Italian futurism Francesco Balilla Pratella. The play was presented at The National Theatre as the hot new thing directly in the world premiere (1922). By staging The Drum of Fire, the theatre gave a refreshingly clear indication that it does not want to be just an academic institution guarding traditions.

The upcoming evening is the first of a series of ten concerts at the National Theater in the season 2015/2016. The next concert will be held on November 8, 2015, will be devoted to the Gala Concert marking the 50th anniversary of the Antonín Dvořák International Vocal Competition in Karlovy Vary. Laureates of this festival will perform under the baton of conductor Libor Pešek, among others René Pape, Adam Plachetka or Roman Janál. The first opera premiere of the National Theatre in the new season will be Vincenzo Bellini's Norma directed by Japanese director Tomo Sugao. The premieres are scheduled for 2 and 4 October 2015 at The State Opera.