About the project
Musica non grata
The Musica non grata project revives the legacy of composers who played a vital role in the musical life of interwar Czechoslovakia and who were persecuted by the Nazis due to their ethnicity, gender, religion or political opinions.
Initiated by the National Theatre Opera and the State Opera and presented with the financial support from the Federal Republic of Germany in collaboration with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Prague, this four-year project focuses especially on the work of Czech composers and composers active within the German speaking community, who played a major part in the development of musical life of the capital of the First Czechoslovak Republic, especially from 1918 to 1938. Many of those composers had direct ties to the New German Theatre (today’s State Opera) and the National Theatre in Prague. They include especially the so-called “Terezín composers” – Pavel Haas, Hans Krása, Gideon Klein and Viktor Ullmann – but also Alexander Zemlinsky, Franz Schreker, Erwin Schulhoff, Paul Hindemith, Ernst Krenek, Jaromír Weinberger, Paul Abraham, Kurt Weill or Arnold Schoenberg. Musica non grata also focuses on the works of extraordinary female composers of the First Republic including Julie Reisserová, Vítězslava Kaprálová, Ilse Weber, Sláva Vorlová or Elizabeth Maconchy.
The project also strives for artistic and research synergies. More than twenty concerts took place in 2020 and 2021, of which almost one half was available to online spectators. The successful staging of Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins and Arnold Schönberg's Erwartung in the autumn of 2021 was followed by four opera and operetta premieres at the State Opera and the National Theatre in 2022: Der ferne Klang (Franz Schreker), Flammen (Erwin Schulhoff), Ball im Savoy (Paul Abraham), and Schwanda the Bagpiper (Jaromír Weinberger). Also in 2023, fans of "entartete Musik" may enjoy several unique projects – Zemlinsky's opera buffa Kleider machen Leute, Der zerbrochene Krug and Der Kaiser von Atlantis by Viktor Ullmann, and Schoenberg's monumental composition Gurre-Lieder, which will return to Czech concert stages after 17 years.
Download the programme leaflet January – June 2023