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Oblivious to the wide difference in their ages, Janáček’s infatuation for Kamila Stösslova, a young married woman, sparked a sudden surge of creativity, including this song cycle. Presented with the composer’s original staging, the story of a love affair between a village boy and a seductive Gypsy woman veers intriguingly between reality and fantasy.

National Theatre Brno -
The Diary of One Who Disappeared


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“The gypsy girl in my Diary of One Who Disappeared – that was you. And all through the work I thought of You!”
Leoš Janáček

It seldom ends well when a naive man falls prey to a sultry and mysterious gypsy, the archetypal femme fatale of classical music. Not unlike Bizet’s erotic and provocative Carmen, Janáček’s song cycle, The Diary of One Who Disappeared, tells the story of a village boy led astray by a mysterious gypsy woman.
Premiered in 1921, it was inspired by Janáček’s muse, Kamila Stösslová, a young married woman almost 40 years the composer’s junior. The infatuation blossomed into Janáček’s Indian summer, epitomised in this almost autobiographical yet unorthodox song cycle, in which forbidden desires triumph over social and moral repression.

A staple of the Janáček Brno Festival, the song cycle celebrated its centennial anniversary with a homecoming to Janáček’s initial theatrical conception of the work. Critically acclaimed Slovak tenor Pavol Breslik took the lead, joined by his frequent accompanist, Róbert Pechanec and alongside mezzo-soprano Štěpánka Pučálková, who had recently made her role debut as Carmen in the opera of the same name.

Approx 35 mins
Performed in Czech, with Chinese and English subtitles
The Diary of One Who Disappeared
(Premiere production based on the composer’s stage notes)

Pavol Breslik

Štěpánka Pučálková

Róbert Pechanec

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