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Ervín Schulhoff

Immortality as punishment? Don Juan in the role of Ahasver

The State Opera
Premiere production
Musica non grata

The National Theatre sells tickets for full capacity of its venues, for all auditorium seats, with the exception of the first row.
According to the government's decision, visitors must meet these conditions.
Tickets can be purchased on the website of the National Theatre and at the box offices of the National Theatre.

Choose date

    June 2022

    Sunday 12. 6.

    Booking not started yet

    1. premiere
    Premiere production
    Musica non grata

    Basic information


    The State Opera

    Approximate running time

    2 hours 30 minutes, 1 intermission 20 minutes


    In Czech


    June 12, 2022


    • 2021-2022


    Stage direction and set design
    Calixto Bieito
    Eva Butzkies
    Chorus master
    Adolf Melichar


    State Opera Chorus
    State Opera Orchestra 

    In the first few decades of the 20th century, Prague was a truly multicultural city, with the Czech and German artists inspiring each other. The German writer and translator Max Brod suggested to the composer Erwin Schulhoff, also of German descent, that a new play by the Czech writer Karel Josef Beneš might make a good basis for the libretto to his new opera.  Even though Beneš was yet to attain international acclaim for his psychological novels Uloupený život (Stolen Life) and Kouzelný dům (The Magic House), which would be adapted as films both at home and abroad, Schulhoff was intrigued by his unconventional retelling of the Don Juan legend. At the time, he was influenced by late Impressionism and Expressionism, but, like many other composers, he was engrossed by jazz and had a penchant for experimentation. All these inclinations duly reflected in his one and only opera, Flammen (referring to flames of love and death), blending elements of opera, pantomime and tone poem, which, following its premiere, in Czech, under the title Plameny, on 27 January 1932 in Brno, fell into oblivion for decades. Interest in the piece only revived in the 1990s, when, using Max Brod’s German translation and with the score partially changed, it was performed as Flammen in concert on 16 April 1994 in Berlin. In this version, it was published by Schott. The State Opera will stage the work in the original version, with K. J. Beneš’s Czech libretto.

    When working on Flammen, its creators could not have anticipated that they would meet similar fates. For his participation in the anti-Nazi resistance movement, Beneš was sentenced to death, yet the verdict was changed to imprisonment (1941–1945). Schulhoff did not live to see the end of World War II. Labelled as a “degenerate” (Jewish) artist, he was incarcerated in the Wülzburg prison camp in Bavaria, where on 18 August 1942 he died of tuberculosis.



    Practical information

    Where to buy tickets

    From October 1, 2021, we start selling tickets for the performances until the end of March 2022. Advance sale of tickets for all performances (Ballet, Drama, Laterna magika and Opera) is on sale for 6 months in advance.

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

    According to the government's decision, visitors must meet these conditions.

    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.

    Parking at the State opera

    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.

    Buffets at the State Opera

    No waiting. For your benefit, please pre-order your food and beverages at the bar to minimize waiting in the queue!