Prague National Theatre tickets 24 May 2025 - Jenůfa | GoComGo.com

Jenůfa

Prague National Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic
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Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Prague, Czech Republic
Starts at: 19:00
Sung in: Czech
Titles in: English,Czech
Cast
Performers
Conductor: Stefan Veselka
Choir: The National Theatre Chorus
Orchestra: The National Theatre Orchestra
Creators
Composer: Leoš Janáček
Director: Calixto Bieito
Writer: Gabriela Preissová
Librettist: Leoš Janáček
Overview

Jenůfa is the first classical stage work by Leoš Janáček, the globally renowned Czech opera composer.

Leoš Janáček was enthralled by the Czech writer Gabriela Preissová’s realistic drama Her Stepdaughter, which had been staged in 1890 without great success. Janáček himself adapted the play into a libretto, while retaining the  original literary form, thus being one of the pioneers of opera sung in prose, not in verse, as had been the convention.

With an acute sense for earthy drama and with enormous empathy, he depicted human relationships amid the harsh universe of a self-contained village community, where everyone knows each other’s business. This milieu affects the life of the young Jenůfa and, particularly, governs the behaviour of her stepmother Kostelnička, who strives to maintain her reputation as a virtuous woman and the villagers’ respect. Determined to preserve her standing, she even goes so far as to secretly murder Jenůfa’s illegitimate child.

Jenůfa is an overwhelming drama about distrust, jealousy, various forms of love and the ability to forgive the unforgivable. Janáček completed the opera in early 1903.

Owing to the dispute between the composer and its then music director, Karel Kovařovic, the National Theatre in Prague rejected it. Consequently, Jenůfa was undertaken by the National Theatre in Brno, which gave its world premiere on 21 January 1904 at the Divadlo na Veveří. Prague’s National Theatre first performed Janáček’s opera, in a revised version, 12 years later. It was subsequently staged in Vienna (1918) and other cities. Today, Jenůfa is a repertoire staple at many opera houses worldwide. Our new production will be conducted by Norway’s Stefan Veselka and directed by Catalonia’s Calixto Bieito, who has previously created for the National Theatre an acclaimed adaptation of Janáček’s Katya Kabanova.

History
Premiere of this production: 21 January 1904, National Theatre, Brno

Jenůfa ("Her Stepdaughter" in Czech) is an opera in three acts by Leoš Janáček to a Czech libretto by the composer, based on the play Její pastorkyňa by Gabriela Preissová. It was first performed at the National Theatre, Brno on 21 January 1904. Composed between 1896 and 1902, it is among the first operas written in prose.

Venue Info

Prague National Theatre - Prague
Location   Národní 2

The National Theatre is the prime stage of the Czech Republic. It is also one of the symbols of national identity and a part of the European cultural space, with a tradition spanning more than 130 years. It is the bearer of the national cultural heritage, as well as a space for free artistic creation.

The National Theatre (Czech: Národní divadlo) in Prague is known as the alma mater of Czech opera, and as the national monument of Czech history and art.

The National Theatre belongs to the most important Czech cultural institutions, with a rich artistic tradition, which helped to preserve and develop the most important features of the nation–the Czech language and a sense for a Czech musical and dramatic way of thinking.

Today, the National Theatre is made up of four artistic companies – the Opera, Drama, Ballet and Laterna magika. It artistically manages four stages – the three historical buildings: the National Theatre (1883), the State Opera (1888), and the Estates Theatre (1783), and the more recently opened New Stage (1983). The Opera, Drama and Ballet companies perform not only titles from the ample classical legacy, in addition to Czech works, they also focus on contemporary international creation.

Grand opening

The National Theatre was opened for the first time on 11 June 1881, to honour the visit of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria. Bedřich Smetana's opera Libuše was given its world premiere, conducted by Adolf Čech. Another 11 performances were presented after that. Then the theatre was closed down to enable the completion of the finishing touches. While this work was under way a fire broke out on 12 August 1881, which destroyed the copper dome, the auditorium, and the stage of the theatre.

The fire was seen as a national catastrophe and was met with a mighty wave of determination to take up a new collection: Within 47 days a million guldens were collected. This national enthusiasm, however, did not correspond to the behind-the-scenes battles that flared up following the catastrophe. Architect Josef Zítek was no longer in the running, and his pupil architect Josef Schulz was summoned to work on the reconstruction. He was the one to assert the expansion of the edifice to include the block of flats belonging to Dr. Polák that was situated behind the building of the Provisional Theatre. He made this building a part of the National Theatre and simultaneously changed somewhat the area of the auditorium to improve visibility. He did, however, take into account with utmost sensitivity the style of Zítek's design, and so he managed to merge three buildings by various architects to form an absolute unity of style.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Prague, Czech Republic
Starts at: 19:00
Sung in: Czech
Titles in: English,Czech
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