National Theater in Brno: June Highlights

Drama at the National Theater Brno comes in the form of two of the best-received shows of the season, with English subtitles: comedies The King’s Speech and Night of Fools. The opera program brings us to Špilberk for the outdoor series “Opera under the stars”, and to the surrealist dreamland of Martinů and Poulenc with a June premiere of “Three Fragments from Juliette / The Human Voice” at Janacek Theatre. The June program of the DANCE BRNO festival will feature neoclassical and contemporary choreographies from the Lithuanian National Ballet, Slovenian National Theater Ballet in Maribor and Italian Spellbound Contemporary Ballet. Title photo: Ballet of the Slovenian National Theatre performing “Hora”. Courtesy of NdB.

Drama: Successful Comedies at Mahen Theatre

“The weather outside is already beautiful in June, but that doesn’t mean we stop doing theatre,” said Gabriela Kodysova of Brno Drama House. Mahen Theater will be staging two English-friendly shows in June.

The first show with English subtitles in the June program at Mahen Theater is the unusual comedy “Night of Fools” (“Noc bláznů”), by popular Australian playwright Louise Nowra. How does a young director at the beginning of his career deal with the task of rehearsing an opera by Mozart with a group of crazy people in a psychiatric hospital, as part of their therapy? The Brno audience appreciated the Australian humour, and loved the NdB premiere on February 15. Mark the date – June 9.

"Night of Fools" performed at Mahen Theater.
“Night of Fools” performed at Mahen Theater. Photo: Courtesy of NdB.

On June 17, the same theatre will host the popular story, “The King’s Speech” (“Králova řeč”) – well-known from the film starring Colin Firth. Based on a real story, The King’s Speech depicts King George VI’s efforts to overcome his nervous stammer with the assistance of a speech therapist, Lionel Logue.

“Get to the theatre before the theatre holidays start!” added Kodysova.

Opera under the Stars and Surrealist Juliette

We have already mentioned that this summer, for the fourth year running, Janáček Opera NdB is bringing opera productions to the romantic surroundings of Špilberk Castle.

Nine evening performances will take place between June and September. Tickets are available online or at the National Theatre Brno’s Customer Centre (Dvořákova 11, Brno).

When and where:

Giuseppe Verdi: Nabucco, 23 May, 1 Sep. 2019
Giuseppe Verdi: La traviata, 28 May, 30 Jun., 3 Sep. 2019
Gaetano Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore, 30 May 2019
Oskar Nedbal: Polish Blood, 4 Jul., 31 Aug. 2019
Giacomo Puccini: Tosca, 6 Jul. 2019
Georges Bizet: Carmen, 27 Aug. 2019
Gioachino Rossini: The Barber of Seville, 29 Aug. 2019

Brno Opera House will also stage one premiere this month – “Three Fragments from Juliette / The Human Voice”. In the last premiere of the season, director David Radok continues the study of relations between men and women, real and perceived, where the present is confronted with the real and fictitious past and figures move around in the world of imagination and dreams.

Bohuslav Martinů’s surrealist opera “Juliette” fits into the abstract concept, and the three fragments that the composer selected and revised directly from the original French text by G. Neveux about the unreal and dreamlike world of Michel and Juliette.

Poulenc’s monodrama “The Human Voice”, based on the play by Jean Cocteau, brings us a truly absurd and even surreal situation, where we follow the telephone conversation of a woman whose lover is breaking up with her. It is their last telephone conversation, of which we hear only one side. The broken-hearted women considers suicide, but the faulty Parisian phone system constantly interrupts their discussion…

Co-produced with Opera Gothenburg and performed in the French original with Czech and English subtitles, the premiere will take place on June 14 in Janáček Theatre.

Ballet Features The International DANCE BRNO Festival

The international dance festival DANCE BRNO runs from May 7 to June 24 in the Mahen and Janacek Theatres. The June program of the colorful DANCE BRNO will feature one of the leading Baltic ballet groups, the Lithuanian National Ballet, as well as the Slovenian National Theatre Ballet in Maribor and Italian Spellbound Contemporary Ballet.

On June 20, the Lithuanian National Ballet of Vilnius will present Der Prozess, a ballet adaptation of Franz Kafka’s classic tale of one man’s individuality being confronted by a faceless system. Next up, on June 22, it is the turn of choreographer Mauro Astolfi’s internationally-renowned Italian contemporary ballet group Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, who will stage Rossini’s Ouvertures.

Lithuanian National Ballet of Vilnius performing "Der Prozess". Photo: Martynas Aleksa
Lithuanian National Ballet of Vilnius performing “Der Prozess”. Photo: Martynas Aleksa

Closing the festival on June 24 will be a double performance by the Ballet of the Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor. First, they will present Hora [Mountain], originally created for the Dortmund Ballet by choreographer Edward Clug. The piece sees the choreographer turning to his native Romania for inspiration for the first time in his career, exploring the meaning of fateful events in our lives and the power of rituals in society, set to music by the Balanescu Quartet.

Ballet of the Slovenian National Theatre performing "Hora". Photo: Courtesy of NdB.
Ballet of the Slovenian National Theatre performing “Hora”. Photo: Courtesy of NdB.

This will be followed by Cantata, a piece choreographed by Italian Mauro Bigonzetti and set to music by the Gruppo Musicale Assurd. Originally created for the Lisbon ballet ensemble Gulbenkian (2001), Bigonzetti’s unique choreographic language, and his passionate and inner gestures reflecting the Mediterranean temperament, evoke a whole spectrum of emotions that celebrate the beauty of life in all its sensuality.

Ballet of the Slovenian National Theatre performing "Cantata". Photo: Courtesy of NdB.
Ballet of the Slovenian National Theatre performing “Cantata”. Photo: Courtesy of NdB.

When and where:

Der Prozess, June 20th, 7pm, Janacek Theatre
Rossini Ouvertures, June 22nd, 7pm, Janacek Theatre
Hora / Cantata, June 24th, 7pm, Janacek Theatre

The last reruns this season, Petite Mort, 4 Elements and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, take place in June.

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