Jan KučeraGuest of the Opera
At the National Theatre in Prague, the conductor, composer and pianist Jan Kučera has conducted the productions of Lukáš Hurník’s opera The Angels (premiere: 1 June 2006), Shostakovich’s Antiformalist Rayok / Orango (premiere: 17 December 2014), Rossini´s La Cenerentola (premiere: 21 January 2016) and of his own comic opera Red Mary (world premiere: 7 May 2015).
He has written operas (Ida’s Flowers, Red Mary, The Gingerbread House, The Legend of the Misty Mountains), ballets (The Three Musketeers, The Taming of the Shrew), symphonic (Symphony No. 1 "Šumava", Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto) and chamber pieces, cantatas and songs, as well as incidental music for more than 30 productions for theatres in Prague and elsewhere in the Czech Republic. His works have been performed by the Czech Philharmonic, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the National Theatre in Prague, the Latvian National Theatre in Riga, and a number of other orchestras and theatre companies. He has also created arrangements, including symphonic adaptations of Jaroslav Ježek’s songs and several orchestral suites made up of songs and melodies from Czech films. Jan Kučera has regularly conducted leading Czech orchestras, with whom he has performed or recorded the classical repertoire, as well as more than 100 symphonic pieces by contemporary composers, many of them in premiere. He was a conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra (2002–2010) and chief conductor of the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra (2015–2021). Owing to his musical versatility and promptitude, he has been frequently invited to participate in crossover concerts and projects. Such were, for example, Wanted, the series of scenic performances of Kurt Weill’s songs at Prague’s Lucerna Hall, featuring the mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková and the Epoque Orchestra (2017), or the grand stage realization of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass (Ostrava, Prague, Brno, 2018). Jan Kučera has also been active in the domain of opera. At the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava he has conducted the productions of Martinů’s Mirandolina and Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, and at the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec he presented the world premiere of his opera The Legend of the Misty Mountains (20 May 2022).
Photo Jan Kolman