Musica non grata Concluding Weekend

Alexander Zemlinsky
Paul Hindemith
Paul Abraham

5 – 7 April 2024 | Prague, State Opera

The Musica non grata project, dedicated to Czech-German composers persecuted by the Nazis, is drawing to an end! Don’t miss out on the last opportunity to see Alexander Zemlinsky’s comic opera Kleider machen Leute, directed by Jetske Mijnssen, and Paul Abraham operetta-revue Ball im Savoy, directed by Martin Čičvák! The Musica non grata concluding weekend will culminate on 6 April with concert performances at the State Opera of Paul Hindemith’s Expressionism-influenced one-acter Sancta Susanna and Alexander Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie, telling a thrilling story set in Renaissance Florence, to be conducted by Karsten Januschke.  By purchasing a programme package, including tickets for all three events, you will receive a 20% discount. A great tip for a music-packed weekend in Prague!

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Extended programme package for journalists 
You will be sent the programme upon request. Accreditation will only be granted to those who will write about the events. 

Dates

previous next
Fri 05/04/2024
7.00 pm
Praha, Státní opera
Sat 06/04/2024
7.00 pm
Praha, Státní opera
Sun 07/04/2024
2.00 pm
Praha, Státní opera
previous performance next performance

Programme package with a 20% discount 

Friday 5 April at 7pm | FINAL PERFORMANCE
Paul Abraham Ball im Savoy
Saturday 6 April at 7pm | ONE AND ONLY PERFORMANCE
Paul Hindemith Sancta Susanna & Alexander Zemlinsky Eine florentinische Tragödie
Sunday 7 April at 2pm | FINAL PERFORMANCE
Alexander Zemlinsky Kleider machen Leute

Package price 
A: CZK 2,490 
B: CZK 1,990 
C: CZK 1,690 

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More about the programme

Paul Abraham Ball im Savoy (final performance)
The operetta-revue Ball im Savoy is one of the most popular works by the Hungarian composer Paul Abraham, the king of jazz operetta in the 1930s. The music of Ball im Savoy, depicting a crazy story abounding in witty conspiracies, mistaken identities and amorous sparkle, blends jazz, czardas, tango, Viennese waltz and klezmer, as well as dance creations à la Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The performance is conducted by Jan Kučera and directed Martin Čičvák, a winner of the prestigious Alfréd Radok Prize. The haute-couture costumes were created by the Greek-French designer Georges Vafias. The operetta’s final performance at the State Opera will feature Vanda Šípová, Doubravka Součková, Csaba Kotlár, Jiří Hájek, Linda Fernandez, Angela Nwagbo, Josef Moravec, Barbora Řeřichová, Lucie Hájková, Vladimír Kratina, Richard Haan and others. The work is performed in Czech, with English surtitles.

Details of the production

Paul Hindemith Sancta Susanna (one and only performance)
The premiere in 1922 of the German composer Paul Hindemith’s Expressionism-influenced opera Sancta Susanna gave rise to an immense scandal, owing not merely to its controversial theme, with animal instinct and carnal desire even overpowering the fear of punishment, and for the story in which merciless fanatical judgments are pronounced by those expected to spread love and compassion. The 25-minute piece also proved controversial due to its highly expressive music, which prevents the audience taking a single breath throughout. The opera’s main protagonist is Susanna, a young nun whose erotic fantasies are aroused by hearing the tale of Sister Beata, who one night, when “the wind sang and flowers pounded”, stripped naked, embraced and kissed Christ on the Cross. As punishment, she was bricked up alive behind the altar. Susanna, no longer capable of containing herself, disrobes and demands that the nuns punish her too: “Stones lie beyond the courtyard! Build me a wall!” The performance will be conducted by Karsten Januschke, who has worked with the Wiener Staatsoper, the Theater an der Wien, the Los Angeles Opera and other renowned companies, as well as the Bayreuther Festspiele, and has recently debuted to acclaim at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Semperoper in Dresden and elsewhere. The lead roles will be portrayed by Tamara Morozová and Lucie Hilscherová. The opera will be performed in a concert version in the German original and with Czech surtitles. 

Details of the production

Alexander Zemlinsky Eine florentinische Tragödie (one and only performance)
Eine florentinische Tragödie (A Florentine Tragedy) ranks among the most remarkable operas of the first half of the 20th century. Its world premiere, on 30 January 1917 in Stuttgart, was a resounding success. In the wake of the first performance, the critics referred to Zemlinsky’s fourth opera as a “glowing tone painting, the likes of which has not been seen since Strauss’s Salome”. The work is based on Oscar Wilde’s unfinished drama A Florentine Tragedy, of which merely the first Act (published in 1893) is available. The reason why the author failed to complete the piece was that for two years (1895–1897) he was imprisoned following his being convicted of “gross indecency” with regard to his sexual relationship with Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas. Around the time, the fragment of Wilde’s play stirred the senses not only of Alexander Zemlinsky but also other celebrated music figures, including Giacomo Puccini, Ferruccio Busoni and Sergei Prokofiev (the 1911 opera Maddalena). Set in Renaissance Florence, the one-hour fresco about jealousy, depicting the thrilling story of the merchant Simone, his wife Bianca and her lover, the young Prince Guido Bardi, features a plethora of dramatic twists and turns, and a somewhat surprising denouement. Eine florentinische Tragödie will be performed in a concert version in the German original and with Czech surtitles. 

Details of the production

Alexander Zemlinsky Kleider machen Leute (final performance)
A gracious opera straddling comedy and allegoric fairy tale, based on a novella from the Swiss author Gottfried Keller’s collection Die Leute von Seldwyla (The People of Seldwyla) has been staged by the globally renowned Dutch director Jetske Mijnssen and conducted by Lithuania’s Giedre Šlekyte. The story of the handsome tailor Wenzel Strapinski begins in earnest at the moment when on the square of Goldach, a provincial, and somewhat dreary, town, whose denizens long for a thrilling event, appears a mysterious, elegant coach with an even more mysterious stranger with romantic looksKleider machen Leute (Clothes Make the Man) features wonderfully refined, colourful orchestration, making full use of the space afforded by the ambiguity of Keller’s story, oscillating as it does between reality and fantasy. The score reflects inspiration by the lucidity of Mozart’s music. The visual facet of the production, especially the  glorious costumes that correspond to the title, was entrusted to the world-famous set designer Herbert Murauer and the costume designer Julia Berndt. The lead role of Wenzel Strapinski is portrayed by the American tenor Joseph Dennis, who since 2018 has been a soloist of the Semperoper and who has won several prestigious competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2015). The role of Nettchen is sung by the Czech soprano Jana Sibera, who recently received the coveted Czech Thalia Prize. Performed in German, with Czech and English surtitles.

Details of the production

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