Libuše
Opera

Libuše

Bedřich Smetana

Scenic ritual of conciliation and purgation

Choose date

    May

    Friday 8. 5.
    18:00

    Tickets available

    Basic information

    Approximate running time

    3 hours 20 minutes, 2 intermission 20 minutes

    Language

    In Czech, Czech, English subtitles

    Premiere

    September 14, 2018

    The speculations about whether Libuše is Bedřich Smetana’s most mature work within the context of his opera oeuvre, or even within the context of Czech opera in general, whether and how it can stand its ground as against the airiness of The Bartered Bride, the lyricism and absorptive power of Dvořák’s Rusalka, or the emotion and drama of Leoš Janáček’s operas, do not result in definitive conclusions – it will always depend on the angle of vision from which Libuše and any other renowned Czech opera is assessed.

    Creatives

    Musical preparation
    Jaroslav Kyzlink
    Stage director
    Jan Burian
    Directed, Adapted and Performed
    Petr Zuska
    Chorus master
    Pavel Vaněk

    About

    National Theatre Chorus
    Kühn Choir of Prague
    Charles University Choir
    National Theatre Orchestra

    The visual angle that appertains to Libuše most naturally is determined by the very intention pursued by the composer and the consequent tradition. Bedřich Smetana earmarked Libuše for being performed on the festive occasions relating to the life of Czech society, which after 1860 had begun markedly and palpably emancipating itself in terms of culture, politics and economics. Such an occasion was an extremely significant event in the history of Czech society – the opening of the National Theatre, first temporarily in 1881, and definitively two years later. An event that at the symbolic level widely transcended the narrow universe of Czech theatre-making and became one of the inherent harbingers of the attainment of independence in 1918.
    Accordingly, the centenary of the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic is a momentous anniversary for the National Theatre itself, thus affording it the opportunity to create a new production of Libuše as a natural contribution to the celebrations.

    There are several genre attributions by means of which we try to characterise Libuše, with one of them being a “scenic ritual of conciliation and purgation”. At variance with the expectations placed on an opera dramatist, Smetana does not sharpen the conflicts and antimonies in Libuše, deliberately seeking instead the path to their timely pacific settlement. Whether it concerns the main action-forming dispute between two brothers about the inheritance after their late father, the antagonisms between a man and a woman, rigorous justice and friendly amiability, between those of “plebeian” and “noble” decent, between the motifs of light and darkness, fire and water, all the conflicts in Smetana’s opera are redeemed in the central character of Princess Libuše, who is not just a mythical sovereign foretelling glory for the Czech nation but, first and foremost, a cathartic fabulous symbol of womanhood and motherhood, clemency and peaceful life.

    Practical information

    Where to buy tickets

    When purchasing online, we will send you an E-ticket by e-mail. You can pick up printed tickets in person at any of our box offices.

    Parking

    While visiting the National Theatre and the New Stage you are welcome to use the underground National Theatre car park (driveway from Ostrovní Street), the parking fee is 50 CZK/h.
    While visiting the State Opera, you can take the slip road on Wilsonova street from the left lane close to the State Opera building to the Parking Centrum above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.
    Unfortunately, there is no car park nearby the Estates Theatre. You can either use the National Theatre car park or a secure car park at the Kotva shopping mall (Revoluční 1/655, Praha 1) and Paladium (Na Poříčí 1079/3a, Praha 1).

     

    What to wear?

    By their appearance, attire and behaviour, the audience is obliged to adhere to the accustomed practice expected from them when attending a theatre performance.

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    Set of Postcards Libuše

    A set of postcards with the performers of Libuše in the National Theatre

    149 Kč