National Theatre Opera, Prague, Czech Republic, 2008
Author: Jiří Nekvasil, Aleš Březina
Directed by Jiří Nekvasil
about the production
The initial impulse for the creation of the opera Tomorrow There Will Be…, labelled by Czech critics as the peak of the previous season, was the aim of its authors to write a full-length musical work for the legend of Czech opera, famous mezzo Soňa Červená. And although the singer refuses the comparing of her life of an exile and dissident with the tragedy of murdered parliament representative Milada Horáková, the putting together personalities like the artist who, despite difficult life circumstances, managed to keep her reputation untarnished with the tragic heroine of the Czechoslovak history, gives the work profound catharsis.
The main character of the opera Tomorrow There Will Be... is not Milada Horáková but the trial against her. It is a totally theatrical theme: the necessary heading to the murder of the main heroine fellow accused colleagues has the features of ancient tragedy. After all, the political trial of the inglorious period of the 1950s was itself purposely built as a theatre production using the possibilities of the media of that time, with the aim to discourage and forcibly unite the “working people”. The creators documented the monstrosity of the mechanism of manipulation by using authentic archive recordings of the trial, the last letter of Milada Horáková or by collages of the texts of the period.
Composer Aleš Březina kept the structure of a numbered operatic work. In the musical collage there is chanson as well as ballad elements. The title of the opera paraphrases the words of an agitating song by Pavel Kohout – Tomorrow There Will Be Dance All Over, which was decomposed by the libretto authors and the randomly selected elements were put together into the new text. The repetitiveness of musical motifs and the dominant function of rhythmical part strengthen the horror of the monster-trial. The work has only two solo parts.
Soňa Červená as Milada Horáková with strict, minutely worked-out motion and gesticulatory stylization is an embodiment of inner strength. In the contrast to her objective calm, the high voice and brisk movements of countertenor Jan Mikuška (The Prosecutor) emphasise the absurdity of the trial. The other protagonists of the work are choirs Canti di Praga and Kühn´s Children Choir which, thanks to the costumes and make-ups which wipe away the human individuality, personify the uniformity of crowds.
“I am taking the hat off to the detailed, well thought-of, multi-meaning and emotionally full actions by which director Jiří Nekvasil commented and visualised the philosophical exceeding of the work. He was always successful at the Kolowrat Theatre but this, this is a masterpiece of his and of Daniel Dvořák´s. Nevertheless, all begins and ends in music. With bewildering confidence Březina defined the original language, perfectly describing the themes of the opera, the language which is not only comprehensible, every word is perfectly understandable, but also musically beautiful, which uniquely interpreted various apparent or just suspected inspirations. The music does not leave one’s head.” (Josef Herman, DIVADELNÍ NOVINY, April 2008)
directed by Jiří Nekvasil
music: Aleš Březina
libretto: Aleš Březina, Jiří Nekvasil
musical preparation and conductor: Marko Ivanović
stage and costume design: Daniel Dvořák
chorus maters: Jiří Chvála, Jan Krejčík
dramaturgy: Ondřej Hučín
cast: Soňa Červená, Jan Mikušek and further: Prague Philharmonic Children´s Choir, Canti di Praga, instrumentální soubor PurPur
Aleš Březina (1965)
He studied violin at a conservatoire in Plzeň and then music sciences at universities in Prague and Basel. From 1994 he has worked as the director of Bohuslav Martinů Institute in Prague and from 1995 as an artistic editor of the Bohuslav Martinů Festival. He is the author of many film, theatre and TV musical works. In Czech as well as international magazines and publications he published a lot of professional articles concerning music of the 20th century, mainly the life of Bohuslav Martinů. He is also a co-author and the guide of two BBC documentaries about B. Martinů. He repeatedly co-operates with Austrian ORF Television and cultural channel 3SAT. In 2004 - 2007 he prepared dramaturgy of the project Czech Dreams, an international music festival with more than a hundred of concerts in seventeen European countries.
Jiří Nekvasil (1962)
He studied opera directing and theatre dramaturgy. In 1988 he and stage designer Daniel Dvořák founded an experimental opera company, Opera Furore. Two years later they were entrusted with the leading of the Chamber Opera Prague, which they re-organized as the Mozart Opera. In 2002 – 2006 he worked as the director of the National Theatre Opera in Prague. Until now he created more than sixty of operatic and dramatic productions, he worked in Germany, Argentina, France, USA, Norway, Latvia, Italy, Finland and Slovakia. For Czech Television he made several musical films; the most remarkable of them were those about B. Martinů – mechanic ballet An Amazing Fly and operas The Tears of the Knife and The Voice of the Forrest, in 1999 the films An Amazing Fly and The Tears of the Knife received the Golden Wing Prize at the Golden Prague International Television Festival and the Arts Prize at the Screening Stage Festival.
Marko Ivanović (1976)
Born in Prague, he studied at the Prague conservatoire and then composing and conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts. As a conductor he co-operated with various Czech and international orchestras and the National Theatre in Prague. In 2003 he received the G. Fitelberg Award at the International Contest of Young Conductors in Katowice, Poland. As a composer of classical music he co-operates with distinguished Czech performers, his works were played at many concerts and festivals home and abroad and were broadcasted by Czech, German and Austrian radio stations. He wrote theatre, radio and film music.
Script of the production: EN
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