A concert opening the 2019/20 season, marking the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution
Soloists and guests of the National Theatre Opera
National Theatre Chorus
National Theatre Orchestra
The National Theatre Opera will pay a special tribute to the events that three decades ago led to the revival of Czech democracy and civil liberty – a tribute by opera music. Music that abounds in moments of both tragic humiliation and fighting for freedom, conflicts of individuals with ruthless power, as well as images of atonement, conciliation and renouncing the urge to require retaliation, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Our concert marking the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution does not only aim to commemorate that which within a few week took place in our country, it will particularly draw attention to the eternal cycle of gaining and losing freedom, a cycle through which humankind has always passed – and, it would seem, will continue to pass. Music, and opera in particular, is one of the most intimate witnesses to the ascents and collapses of human liberty. And certainly its most passionate advocate.
You will hear extracts and scenes depicting humiliation, revolt and conciliation from Janáček’s From the House of the Dead, Verdi’s Nabucco, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Giordano’s Andrea Chénier and Smetana’s operas Dalibor and Libuše. The concert will culminate with Dvořák’s cantata Te Deum, which was performed at the end of 1989 during the presidential inauguration of Václav Havel, one of the greatest symbols of the Velvet Revolution.