National Theatre Orchestra
National Theatre Chorus
Ballet of the National Theatre Opera
Premiere: September 21, 2003
Antonín Dvořák’s two most successful operas, The Devil and Kate, and Rusalka, are based on fairy-tale motifs. Blending folk and humorous with lyrical and fantasy elements is one of the typical (and still very popular) traits of Czech dramatic creation. The theme of this charming fairy-tale opera is taken over from Božena Němcová's folk tale of the same name about the brazen and fearless Kate, the wily shepherd Jirka and the duped devil Marbuel. Dvořák created a masterly patchwork of contrasting scenes – folksy, breezy, fiendishly fervent and courtly noble. Owing to the inspired invention with musical motifs and orchestra instrumentation, The Devil and Kate is a thoroughly original work from beginning to end, one that surpasses Dvořák’s previous operas in many respects. Adolf Born's exquisite sets and costumes bear the hallmark of this original and popular artist.
The opera is staged in Czech original version and English surtitles are used in the performance.
Approximate running time, including intermissions: 2 hours, 45 minutes, two 20-minute intermissions
Photo: Hana Smejkalová