2018 6th International Janáček Festival 30 November - 06 December 2018

2018 6th International Janáček Festival
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Brno: The Czech Republic’s second city and capital of Moravia. It’s known for its modernist buildings, like the restored Villa Tugendhat, completed in 1930 by architect Mies van der Rohe. The medieval Špilberk Castle houses a city museum, gardens and a former prison with vaulted tunnels. The Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul has baroque altars, a 14th-century statue of the Madonna and Child, and city views from its steeple.

6th International Janáček Festival
Brno, Czech Republic
30 November – 06 December

The festival, with its over ten thousand local and international visitors, is an overview of Leoš Janáček´s complete works via productions helmed by world-class directors, with the participation of the Welsh National Opera, the Flemish Opera and the Teatr Wielki ensemble from Poznan. Apart from the great opera productions, the programme also includes orchestral and chamber concerts, recitals and performances by folklore ensembles.

Spectators will have the opportunity to view performances at Brno’s Janáček and Mahen Theatres, as well as at less traditional locations such as Villa Tugendhat which is on the UNESCO national cultural heritage list, the Leoš Janáček Memorial and Brno Exhibition Centre. A visit to the festival can be complemented by a tour of the architecture and history of the city and its environs, and also, in the pre-Christmas period, combined with a trip to the Christmas market to enjoy the atmosphere.

The programme of the festival Janáček Brno 2018 is devoted to the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic. It presents the complete operatic works of Leoš Janáček in productions by the world’s leading directors and musicians.

The festival’s dramaturgical team have devised a mix of orchestral and chamber concerts, concert versions of operas, song recitals including solo performances, and a choral concert. All this and more in a programme of 15 concerts featuring excellent performers such as Thomas Adès, Jan Jiraský, Martin Kasík, Jitka Čechová, Simona Houda-Šaturová and the Pavel Haas Quartet.


Fri 30 November 2018

Morning flight from London Heathrow airport [or other UK regional airports] to Vienna. Private transfer to Brno [approx. 90mins]. Accommodation at the

This evening[19h00] attend a performance of The Diary of One Who Disappeared at Mahen Theatre.

The Diary of One Who Disappeared is actually a song cycle, but with its dramatic character and theatricality, it is just crying out for a stage production - and that is the form in which Muziektheater Transparant will present it at this festival. The stage version by this excellent Belgian ensemble was created under the leadership of one of Belgium’s leading directors, Ivo van Hove, who holds many awards for his drama work but is also one of the opera directors most sought-after by leading European institutions. His first encounter with L. Janáček´s work was the direction of The Makropulos Affair for the Holland National Opera. His production of The Diary of One Who Disappeared is extended to include musical input from Belgian composer Annelies Van Parys, which gives Janáček´s intimate confession of love a unique form. 

In the summer of 1917, the 63-year-old Janáček met Kamila Stösslo¬vá in Luhačovice. The young lady became Janáček´s last great love and the inspiration for his peak works. No wonder her bewitching eyes led him to remember a column which he had cut out from the Lidové noviny newspaper one year before. It was a poem by an author who was unknown at that time entitled From a self-taught person´s pen. The poem concerned a young village boy who fell in love with gypsy girl called Zefka; in the end he secretly ran away with her. The poetic tale awoke Janáček’s imagination and Kamila turned into a beautiful gypsy in his eyes. For two years, Janáček worked on a collection of 22 poems in the folk style to turn them into the unique song cycle The Diary of One Who Disappeared for tenor, mezzosoprano, a choir of three female voices and piano. The premiere took place on 18th April 1921 at Brno’s Reduta Theatre. 

Sat 01 December 2018

Breakfast at the hotel.

This evening [19h00] a performance of Jenufa

The festival will this time present Jenůfa in a production by a group from Poznan’s Teatr Wielki, one of the leading Polish opera ensembles with more than one hundred years of history behind it. The performed work is a famous version originally created for La Monnaie in Brussels by Lithuanian director and playwright Alvis Hermanis, who is one of the leading personalities of the contemporary European theatre scene. The impressive production is artistically inspired and stylized in the 1st and 3rd acts into opulent scenes á la Alfons Mucha, with a choir in rich folk costumes. This makes the contrast presented by the second act all the greater, with spectators being carried back to the 1960s and the communist era, where the lavish stylization is abandoned for realistic acting in the moments of culminating tragedy. 

Jenůfa is one of Janáček´s most famous works. It has its roots in a realistic drama by G. Preissová (1862–1946), which Janáček adapted himself into the form of an opera libretto. Even though he had to shorten the text of the drama significantly, he managed to heighten the impact of this tragic story from rural Moravia. The protagonists include wasteful and unstable Števa, fierce Laca, who hides a heart of gold, and most of all the unrelenting Kostelnička, whose efforts to maintain her position and respect in the village community lead her to murder the child of Jenůfa. Janáček (1854–1928) captured the individual characters in a masterful, condensed drama that sends chills down one´s spine while simultaneously awakening compassion and understanding within us. It took Janáček nearly nine years to create Jenůfa. He finished the first act of the opera in 1897, while the second and the third were created under circumstances that were extremely tragic for the Janáček family. In 1902, the composer´s daughter Olga became seriously ill during a visit to Janáček´s brother in Saint Petersburg. Janáček completed the second act of the opera after Olga´s return home, and the third immediately before her death in February 1903. He dedicated Jenůfa to the memory of his daughter. Janáček wanted the premiere of the opera to be at the National Theatre in Prague, but he was refused with the explanation that the opera wasn´t suitable for performance on a leading Czech stage. The premiere thus took place in Brno on 21st January 1904, and it was an incredible success. It took until 1915 to persuade the management of the Prague theatre and the conductor Karel Kovařovic to perform Jenůfa. However, after the very successful Prague premiere on 26. 5. 1916, Janáček finally because successful as a composer not only in the Czech environment but also world-wide. 

Sun 02 December 2018

Breakfast at the hotel.

This morning [11h00] a concert at Reduta Theatre [Mozart Hall] given by Pavel Haas Quartet.


Bedřich Smetana String Quartet No. 2 in D minor

Pavel Haas String Quartet No. 2 (“From the Monkey Mountains”)

Leoš Janáček [2nd] Quartet for Two Violins, Viola and Cello (“Intimate Letters”)

This evening [19h00] a performance of From the House of the Dead given by guest company Welsh National Opera.

Mon 03 December 2018

Breakfast at the hotel.

This evening [19h00] attend a piano recital given by Thomas Adès at Reduta Theatre [Mozart Hall].

Leoš Janáček
 On an Overgrown Path (1st series)
In Remembrance, 1. X. 1905 (“From the Street“)
On an Overgrown Path (2nd series)
Christ, the Lord, Is Risen
Lesser Town Palace
A Recollection
In the Mists

Tue 04 December

Breakfast at the hotel.

This evening [19h00] attend a concert by Brno Philharmonic at Stadium Kounicova.

Leoš JanáčekBallad of Blaník
Jan NovákIgnis for Ioanne Palach
Bohuslav MartinůDouble Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano and Timpani
Miloslav KabeláčThe Mystery of Time
Leoš JanáčekTaras Bulba
conductorStefan Veselka
choir masterMichal Vajda

Wed 05 December 2018

Breakfast at the hotel.

This evening [19h00] attend a performance of The Excursions of Mr Brouček at Janáček Theatre.  

The Excursions of Mr. Brouček is the only opera by Janáček to have its premiere in Prague and it will be a Prague ensemble that performs the opera at this festival, produced by their music director Jaroslav Kyzlinka and the Slovak director Sláva Daubnerová, who is an interesting personality in the Slovak theatre scene. Her authorial projects, in which she combines the function of director, author, performer and often also artist into a highly specific theatre language, are highly regarded. 

In 1904-1907 the composer was looking for a comedy plot for his fifth opera and, in the end, decided for a work of humorous prose by Svatopluk Čech (1864-1908), The True Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Moon, which was published for the first time in 1888. Even almost twenty years after first seeing the light of day in the literary world, the landlord Matěj Brouček who does nothing himself but always gives advice and knows everything was still a very popular character, and the resultant opera in all its originality confirmed the correctness of Janáček´s choice. Nine years of hard work were required before the piece was completed successfully, as it soon became obvious that finding a suitable librettist for the piece was a very hard nut to crack. In the end, seven writers were involved in the libretto for Brouček´s excursions, with various levels of success. However, these problems didn´t reduce the charm and impressiveness of Janáček´s music in the least – the marvellous singing, the masterful depiction of the characters, the liveliness of the scenes and the pace, all of which are combined with a three-period waltz meter which creates the impression of an omnipresent dance, both on the Moon or at Vikárka in Prague. Janáček completed The True Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Moon in 1917, but before its performance was possible, the political situation changed. Janáček reacted by expanding the opera, which was originally intended for Prague’s artistic and critical circles, to include a national aspect, and Brouček´s adventure in the 15th century was an ideal fit. The opera thus gained a second half and another perspective – nationalistic and tragicomic aspects were added to the original satirical work. It was performed in this form at the National Theatre in Prague on 18th March 1920. 

Thu 06 December 2018

Breakfast at the hotel. Afternoon transfer to Vienna to connect with flight to London Heathrow airport [or other UK regional airports].

7-Day Tour Price Indication [per person]

From £1,399.00 [Great value EarlyBird Price]

The price includes: roundtrip economy ‘traveller’ air travel from London Heathrow to Vienna including all prevailing taxes, roundtrip private transfers between Vienna airport to Brno, 6-nights hotel accommodation at central first-class hotel based on two people sharing a double room including breakfast buffet, top-category tickets to all the daily performances [operas, concerts & recitals] listed in the itinerary.

This is a non-escorted tour.  

How to Book
Please contact Opera in Style on 020 7272 0639 to check availability [space is very limited & early booking is essential].

Please complete a booking form and send a deposit of £500.00 per person.

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