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Beautiful musical catharsis
INTRODUCTIONThe Stabat Mater is a 13th century poem that describes the imagined sufferings of the Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross. Over centuries it has attracted many composers, including Palestrina, Verdi and Rossini.
Completed in 1877, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater is thought to be the composer’s response to the death of three of his children in infancy. Despite the pain of this loss, the moving cantata in ten parts is a statement of faith and belief expressed in ravishing beautiful music. Its combination of human voice and rich orchestral colour forms a majestic, expressive arc, stretching from initial despair to a ﬁnal, afﬁrmative catharsis. Premiered in 1880, the work was subsequently performed in April 1882 in Brno where it was conducted by Janáček.
This Dvořák masterpiece will be performed under the baton of Brno-born conductor Jaroslav Kyzlink, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of National Theatre Brno between 2001 and 2003, and the newly appointed Music Director of the National Theatre in Prague.
CAST & PRODUCTIONConductor
Pavla Vykopalová (soprano)
Jana Hrochová (alto)
Aleš Briscein (tenor)
Jiří Sulženko (bass)
With Orchestra and Chorus of the Janáček Opera of the National Theatre Brno
ADDITIONAL INFONational Theatre Brno
The elegant city of Brno is steeped in culture. Once capital of Moravia in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and now the second largest city of the Czech Republic, Brno is the birthplace of Czech writer Milan Kundera and its National Theatre is indelibly associated with the music of Leoš Janáček, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.
Opened in 1884, the National Theatre Brno premiered almost all of Janáček’s operas including Jenůfa, The Cunning Little Vixen and The Makropulos Case, works which feature in the repertoire of every world-ranking opera house. The ﬂowering of Janáček’s creative genius came in his later years. In his seventies, aﬂame with desire for a married woman half his age, he produced a stream of fresh and youthful works of art, including the Sinfonietta and the Glagolitic Mass. Sense of drama, good and evil, joy and sorrow – Janáček’s works seethe with love for life and reﬂect his own turbulent life.
With a special focus on Czech music, the 2017 Hong Kong Arts Festival welcomes more than 180 musicians and singers from the Janáček Opera of the National Theatre Brno, together with world class soloists, in an extraordinary musical celebration featuring masterpieces by two of the best known Czech composers, Janáček and Dvořák.