Tuttifäntchen

Paul Hindemith

#opera for children

Conductor: David Švec 
Director: Radim Vizváry
National Theatre Orchestra

A Christmas fairy tale with song, dance and puppets for children. Duration: 60 minutes. Performed in Czech. 

Dates

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Thu 30/11/2023
5.00 pm
Prague, Estates Theatre
#premiere
Thu 30/11/2023
7.30 pm
Prague, Estates Theatre
#premiere
#dramaturgical introduction
Sat 02/12/2023
10.30 am
Prague, Estates Theatre
Sat 02/12/2023
12.30 pm
Prague, Estates Theatre
Sun 03/12/2023
10.30 am
Prague, Estates Theatre
Sun 03/12/2023
12.30 pm
Prague, Estates Theatre
Wed 06/12/2023
11.00 am
Prague, Estates Theatre
Wed 06/12/2023
1.00 pm
Prague, Estates Theatre
Thu 07/12/2023
11.00 am
Prague, Estates Theatre
Thu 07/12/2023
1.00 pm
Prague, Estates Theatre
Tue 12/12/2023
11.00 am
Prague, Estates Theatre
Tue 12/12/2023
1.00 pm
Prague, Estates Theatre
Wed 13/12/2023
11.00 am
Prague, Estates Theatre
Wed 13/12/2023
1.00 pm
Prague, Estates Theatre
Thu 14/12/2023
11.00 am
Prague, Estates Theatre
Thu 14/12/2023
1.00 pm
Prague, Estates Theatre
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Tuttifäntchen
Music: Paul Hindemith (1895–1963)
Libretto: Hedwig Michel (1892–1982) and Franziska Becker  (1874–1942)
Translated into Czech by Ondřej Hučín

“How many composers  are capable of writing music without the vision of attaining fame, and how many venture […] to sing sincerely and openly about a fir tree, a wooden puppet and a devil, enthralling children’s pulsating hearts with a simple yet singular music?“ wrote the critic Karl Holl in the wake of the world premiere of the opera for children Tuttifäntchen, held on 13 December 1922 at the Hessisches Landestheater in Darmstadt. Three days after the opening night, the piece was also staged at the Frankfurter Opernhaus, which would perform it to great acclaim until the day in 1933 when Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany.

Bearing the secondary title “A Christmas fairy tale with song and dance”, the opera tells the story of the master woodcarver Tuttifant and his puppet, Tuttifäntchen, which comes to life and runs wild. Created without a heart, he gets up to constant mischief. Possessing miraculous powers, the puppet steals the heart of the woodcarver’s daughter Trudel, and the two set out into the world… They cause havoc at a Christmas market and join a marionette show directed by Meister Punoni, before heading into the forest, where Tuttifäntchen realises that he was made from a tree and that woods are his true home. When the puppet embraces a fir, it absorbs him. Trudel is left alone and, given that she does not have a heart, her strength wanes rapidly. Luckily, her father and her friend Peter retrieve the heart and Trudel is saved. The story ends happily, as fairy tales, Christmas ones in particular, usually do. 

In his opera Tuttifäntchen, the German composer Paul Hindemith, who was also a fine painter with a passion for sports and trains (he possessed a 300-metre railway model with remotely controlled switches and signal devices), employed melodies of folk music and Christmas carols (including the Czech song We Bring You the News), also integrating jazz elements (the foxtrot in the Dance of the Wooden Puppets). A new Prague production of the enchanting opera, which will receive its Czech premiere, as arranged and translated by the dramaturge Ondřej Hučín, at the Estates Theatre, is being prepared by the conductor David Švec and the director, mime artist and choreographer Radim Vizváry, Artistic Director of Laterna magika. The audience can look forward to a fabulous performance, featuring songs, dance, mime, acrobatics and, naturally, puppets.

Conductor: David Švec
Director and choreographer: Radim Vizváry
Set and costume designer: Eva Jiřikovská
Light designer: Karel Šimek
Dramaturge: Ondřej Hučín

Meister Tuttifant: Zdeněk Plech / Miloš Horák
Trudel: Ekaterina Krovateva / Karolína Levková
Tuttifäntchen: Vít Šantora / Peter Malý
Peter: Marek Žihla / Petr Dvořák
Berthe: Yvona Škvárová / Jana Sýkorová
Meister Punoni: Jiří Hájek / Jiří Sulženko
Mime artists: David Bosh, Valéria Daňhová, Anton Eliaš, Vojtěch Fülep, Anna Kukuczková a Lukáš Šimon

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