National Theatre Orchestra
National Theatre Chorus
Premiere: May 11, 1995
Libuše is not only a supreme festival opera; it also represents a significant symbol of Czech national culture. Although Bedřich Smetana completed it in 1872, the work was only staged nine years later, to mark the first opening of the National Theatre. The opera is primarily intended for celebratory occasions and even nowadays the National Theatre only performs it on special occasions and state holidays. In Libuše, Smetana masterfully treated the legend of the mythical Czech Princess and the feud between two brothers resulting in conciliation and the picture of a prophecy of the joyful future of the Czech nation. Libuše is inseparably connected with modern Czech history and the history of the National Theatre, where it was staged many times in the past as a work exceptional owing to its humanistic and social message. The titular role has always been portrayed by leading National Theatre Opera soloists.
The opera is staged in Czech original version. English and German surtitles are used in the performance.
Approximate running time, including intermissions: 3 hours, 15 minutes, two 20-minute intermissions.
Photo: Hana Smejkalová