The Greek Passion in the upcoming season of the National Theatre Brno
On 6 March, the National Theatre Brno presented a program for the upcoming 2019/2020 season at its press conference. Included in the program are three of Martinů’s works: The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Plays of Mary and Three Fragments from Juliette. In the next season, fans of Martinů's music can look forward to hearing another production – his opera The Greek Passion. Tickets will be on sale March 11, 2019.
The Greek Passion will be heard in its second version and premiere in Brno on April 9, 2020. The production will be prepared by conductor Tomáš Netopil and artistic director of the National Theatre Opera, Jiří Heřman. "The music of Bohuslav Martinů is at home in Brno. Here, there were many world premieres of his ballets and operas and currently our ensemble is the only one in the Czech Republic that has three Martinů stage pieces on the repertoire," said Jiří Heřman during the press conference, "In the 2019/2020 season, when we celebrate the 60th anniversary of his death and 130 years from his birth, another opera will join them - The Greek Passion, the deep humanistic message of the composer, which had its Czechoslovak premiere here in Brno."
The National Theatre Brno has already prepared the Epic of Gilgamesh / Dido and Aeneas and the Plays of Mary under Heřman’s direction. This year the theatre will premiere another Martinů work on June 14, Three Fragments from Juliette, which will be directed by David Radok and conducted by Marko Ivanović.
9 April 2020, 7.00 pm | Premiere
Janáček Theatre, Brno, CZ
Bohuslav MARTINŮ: The Greek Passion, H 372 II
Jiří Heřman (director)
Tomáš Netopil (conductor)
Dragan Stojčevski (set design)
Alexandra Grusková (costume design)
Patricie Částková (dramaturgy)
Performed in the original Czech with Czech and English surtitles
The boy’s name was written into the snow. When the sun came out, the snow melted and his name was carried away by the water.
The priest Grigoris has summoned a meeting of the elders in the village of Lycovrissi and the villagers are being selected to play Christ and Apostles in the local passion plays when the deep peace in which the villagers have dwelt so far is disturbed by a sudden shock. Just as if the finger of God has appeared to demand proof of faith, refugees arrive from a pillaged and deserted village and ask for asylum. They are angrily refused and forced to seek shelter in the rocky mountains nearby. However, the newly appointed saints take it upon themselves to go to the worried refugees. The common daily worries of these people gradually fade away; the power of their faith and their roles in the approaching passion plays begin to transform their spiritual awareness into a new maturity. Every man and woman gradually realizes the only true meaning of one’s actions: are they good, or evil…? This is how Bohuslav Martinů characterized his last opera The Greek Passion, which was inspired by the novel Christ Recrucified by the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The composer, who had also experienced the trials and tribulations of a refugee, created a work with a great humanistic message about the power of faith - a message which is more and more topical in today´s world. After the opera The Miracles of Mary and the oratorio The Epic of Gilgamesh, Martinů returns to the Janáček Theatre stage with another piece, this time featuring a beautiful and extensive choral part, The Greek Passion.