Leoš Janáček: The Makropulos Case
The National TheatreApproximate running time
2 hours 5 minutes, 1 intermission 25 minutes
the opera star Eva Urbanová
A concert performance of Leoš Janáček’s opera The Makropulos Case, to be conducted by Robert Jindra, the new music director of the National Theatre Opera.
"A beauty 300 years old – and for ever young – but with feelings burnt out! Ooh! Cold like ice! I will write an opera about her!" "I am already creating the ooh. But I will make her warmer, so people can sympathise with the woman. I may even fall in love with her." Thus wrote Leoš Janáček about his penultimate opera, inspired by Karel Čapek’s “philosophical comedy” The Makropulos Case, focused on immortality and fear of it. Following the play’s plot and using the original characters and situations, the composer – in his quintessential manner – foregrounded the personages’ erotic relations and the story’s sensuous atmosphere in general. What is more, Janáček demonstrated his profound understanding of the heroine, the celebrated diva Emilia Marty, who, notwithstanding the cynicism she has accrued during the three centuries of her life, actually still longs for love, strives to make sense of life and attain fulfilment, while envying the mortals’ – perhaps naïve – belief in such “ordinary things”.
The opera received its world premiere on 18 December 1926 at the National Theatre in Brno. It was yet another Janáček triumph: "The cold one was an unexpected success! Everyone felt the chill. It is said to be my greatest piece!" Equally enthusiastic was the audience and critical response to the opera’s first night at the National Theatre in Prague, in March 1928, conducted by Otakar Ostrčil.
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Where to buy tickets
The National Theatre sells tickets up to 6 months in advance. On 1 October at 9am we started selling tickets for performances of Drama, Ballet, Opera and Laterna magika until the end of March 2023.
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