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the modern premiere
Thursday, September 19, 2019, 7.00 pm
Opera in Concert

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Antonín Dvořák: King and Collier, a comic opera in three acts, 1st musical setting, B. 21

After the world premiere of Dvořák’s first opera Alfred at the 2014 Dvořák Prague Festival, this year’s festival will present another unique event: a performance of the composer’s first musical setting of the libretto King and Collier, the original manuscript material for which has now been digitised at the initiative of the Academy of Classical Music. This nearly forgotten operatic work from Dvořák’s early period was never performed during the composer’s lifetime. Its first and last production took place in 1929 at the National Theatre. And because the opera was never recorded, this modern-era premiere in the form of a concert performance will afford the unique opportunity of hearing music by Dvořák that will be entirely new to us. The honour of resurrecting this forgotten score has bee accepted by a star-studded cast of Czech operatic soloists led by the conductor Tomáš Brauner with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Prague Philharmonic Choir.

Cast and Characters

Liduška - Kateřina Kněžíková

Jeník - Richard Samek

Matyáš - Roman Hoza

Matěj - Jozef Benci

Anna - Lucie Hilscherová

Jindřich - Josef Moravec

Královna - Dana Burešová

Eva - Jana Sibera

Sekáček - Jan Šťáva

1. lovec - Ondřej Koplík

2. lovec - Michal Onufer

  • Dress code: dark suit
  • Doors close: 18.55
  • End of concert: 22.30


Tomáš Brauner

Tomáš Brauner is one of the most respected conductors of his generation. He is a graduate of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and he also completed a study internship at Vienna’s University for Music and the Performing Arts. In 2010 he became a laureate of the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Music Competition for Conductors in Athens. He began his artistic career at the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň, where he rehearsed and premiered numerous operas (including La Gioconda, Don Giovanni, The Jacobin, and Turandot). In 2008 he made his debut conducting Verdi’s Otello at the Prague State Opera. From 2013 to 2018 he was the chief conductor of the Pilsen Philharmonic and from 2014 to 2018 the principal guest conductor of the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. He works regularly with the Janáček Philharmonic in Ostrava and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in Pardubice. He makes guest appearances at festivals, including Prague Spring, Smetana’s Litomyšl, and the Český Krumlov Festival. Beginning in the 2020/2021 season, he is the chief conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Since the 2018/19 season, he has also been the chief conductor of the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra in Zlín.

Tomáš Brauner - conductor

Prague Philharmonic Choir

The Prague Philharmonic Choir is one of Europe’s most important choral ensembles. Founded in 1934 by the legendary choral conductor Jan Kühn, the choir’s original focus of activity as a radio ensemble soon expanded with regular concerts, while its recording activity showcased the choir’s excellence and diversity, earning it wide respect. The choir’s international renown is documented by its collaborations with many of the world’s top conductors (Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Manfred Honeck, Daniel Barenboim, Fabio Luisi, Sir Simon Rattle) and orchestras (Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic). The choir is a regular guest at prestigious music festivals abroad, and it has taken part in opera productions (La Scala, Bregenzer Festspiele). The choir also supports young talent: since 2012 it has been operating an Academy of Choral Singing with a two-year course of study for secondary-school and university students.

Prague Philharmonic Choir

Lukáš Vasilek

Lukáš Vasilek studied conducting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and musicology at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University. From 1998 he was the choirmaster of the Foerster Female Chamber Choir, with which he won a number of awards at prestigious international competitions. From 2005 to 2007 he was the second choirmaster of the opera chorus at Prague’s National Theatre, where he directed rehearsals for several opera productions. Since 2007 he has been the chief choirmaster of the Prague Philharmonic Choir. His highly acclaimed work with that choir includes rehearsing and conducting a broad repertoire from various stylistic periods as well as making several recordings, including an exceptionally successful CD of cantatas by Bohuslav Martinů. Vasilek also works as an orchestral conductor and is the founder of the Martinů Voices chamber choir, where he focuses mainly on interpreting music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He actively works to popularise choral music, having served as moderator in 2012 and 2016 for two programmes on Czech Radio on the art of choral singing.

Lukáš Vasilek - choirmaster

Jan Šťáva

The bass Jan Šťáva is a graduate of the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno. Since 2010 he has been a member of the Janáček Opera, where he has appeared as Méphistophélès (Faust), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Basilio (The Barber of Seville), and Kecal (The Bartered Bride). In 2011 he made his debut at Prague’s National Theatre as Osmin (Entführung aus dem Serail). Since then he has also appeared in many other roles, especially in the operas of Mozart and Verdi. He is also a regular guest at the opera of the National Moravian Silesian Theatre in Ostrava. His appearances abroad include performances with the Opéra de Paris, the Opéra national de Montpellier, and the Angers Nantes Opéra. His concert repertoire includes bass parts in works by J. S. Bach (Christmas Oratorio, St John’s Passion), J. Haydn (The Creation), W. A. Mozart, A. Dvořák, and G. Verdi (Requiem). He has collaborated with orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonie in Leipzig, the Beethoven Orchestra in Bonn, the Hanover Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, and the Prague Chamber Philharmonic. He makes regular appearances at festivals including the BBC Proms, Salzburger Festspiele, Prague Spring, and Smetana’s Litomyšl.

Jan Šťáva - bass

Kateřina Kněžíková

One of the most prolific Czech operatic sopranos, Kateřina Kněžíková, has recently transformed into an internationally acclaimed performer of concert repertoire. She is a permanent cast member of the National Theatre in Prague and a laureate of the Classic Prague Awards 2018 for the best chamber performance and Thalia Award 2019 for extraordinary stage performance in the opera Julietta (B. Martinů) on the boards of the National Moravian-Silesian Theater. In 2021, she released her first solo album Phidylé for Supraphon label, which was named as Editor's Choice and The Best Classical Albums of 2021 in Gramophone Magazine. In 2022, Phidylé won the prestigious BBC Magazine Music Awards in the Vocal category. She also has recorded for Decca, Harmonia Mundi and Opus Arte.

Her core symphonic repertoire includes Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, Dvořák’s Requiem, Stabat Mater and Te Deum, Martinů’s Epic of Gilgamesh, Mahler’s symphonies (Nos. 2, 4, 8), Brahms’ German Requiem, and works by Beethoven and Mozart. As a dedicated performer of orchestral songs, she is stunning in Mahler’s Youth’s Magic Horn, Strauss’ Four Lasts Songs, Ravel’s Shéherezade, Martinů’s Magic Nights and songs by Duparc, to name the most prominent of roles. Her recitals featuring songs by Janáček, Dvořák, Martinů, Ravel, Debussy, Fauré, Strauss, Brahms, Liszt, Schubert, and Schumann have been praised by audiences and critics alike.

In 2021, Kateřina successfully performed the major role in L. Janáček's opera Káťa Kabanová at the prestigious Glyndebourne Opera Festival. The orchestras Kateřina has worked with as a soloist include the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, London Philharmonic Orchestra, National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, Camerata Salzburg, and Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria. She appears frequently with the Czech Philharmonic and other major orchestras in the Czech Republic. Kateřina has performed with renown conductors, including Jiří Bělohlávek, Manfred Honeck, John Nelson, Serge Baudo, Jakub Hrůša, Domingo Hindoyan, Robin Ticciati, Oksana Lyniv, James Gaffigan, and Tomáš Netopil.

As one of the most sought-after operatic sopranos in the Czech Republic, Kateřina appears regularly with all major opera houses locally and many houses abroad, including La Monnaie Brussels, Opéra Royal de Versailles, Opéra de Dijon, Slovak National Theatre and others. Kateřina excels at Mozart (Susanna, Contessa, Donna Elvira, Pamina to name her most important roles), and is incomparable as Rusalka (Dvořák), Mařenka (Bartered Bride by Smetana), Káťa Kabanová (Janáček) and other operas Martinů, Dvořák, Smetana, Gounod, and Bizet.

Kateřina Kněžíková - soprano

Josef Moravec

After graduating from the Prague Conservatoire, the tenor Josef Moravec continued his studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. At the Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary he took 3rd prize in the Junior category and the Vilém Zítek Prize. He makes regular guest appearances at most of the opera houses of the Czech Republic. Since the 2010/11, he has been a regular guest at the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava. He has sung roles at the Prague State Opera in productions including the operas Turandot, Candide, The Magic Flute, The Flying Dutchman, and Death in Venice. Since the 2014/15 season, he has been a soloist in the opera company of the National Theatre. So far, he has appeared there in roles including Skuratov (From the House of the Dead), the Gnat and the Schoolmaster (The Cunning Little Vixen), the Holy Fool (Boris Godunov), the Fisherman (The Nightingale), Alméric (Iolanta), and the Abbé and the Incroyable (Andrea Chénier). He also makes appearances abroad (Japan, Scandinavia, Algeria, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, France, Slovenia etc.).

Roman Hoza

Baritone Roman Hoza is one of the most successful Czech performers of the younger generation. A graduate of the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno, he completed a yearlong study visit at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. He has been a member of the opera studio of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. He is a laureate of competitions including the A. Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary and the International Chamber Music and Sacred Music Competition. As a guest artist, he has introduced himself to the opera public in Vienna, Lyon, Salzburg, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Cologne, Kaiserslautern, Prague, Ostrava, and other cities. The foundation of his repertoire consists of roles in the operas of W. A. Mozart (Don Giovanni, Leporello, Figaro, Guglielmo, Papageno) and Gioacchino Rossini (Dandini, Rimbaud, Bartolo, Signor Mill). He appears regularly with the leading Czech ensembles specialising in the informed interpretation of early music (incl. Handel’s Messiah with the Czech Ensemble Baroque). Since the 2016/17 season he has been a soloist with the Janáček Opera at the National Theatre in Brno.

Roman Hoza - baritone

Jozef Benci

The Slovak bass Jozef Benci graduated from the Conservatoire and the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. While still a student, he won the first prize at the prestigious George Enescu International Singing Competition in Bucharest and first prize at the International Competition for Singers up to Age 32 in Berlin. There he played the role of Zaccaria in Verdi’s Nabucco. Since 2007 he has been a soloist with the opera of the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava. Amongst his most important roles at that theatre have been Colline in Puccini’s La bohème, the Water Goblin in Dvořák’s Rusalka, Ferrando in Verdi’s Il trovatore, Sarastro in Mozart’s Magic Flute, and Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust. In 2011 in London he took part in a concert performance of Smetana’s opera The Bartered Bride in the role of Kecal under the baton of Jiří Bělohlávek. At the 2011 Bratislava Music Festival, he appeared to great acclaim at a shared vocal recital with Edita Gruberová. So far, he has made appearances in concert in the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, France, Romania, Italy, Austria, Poland, and Germany.

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

For many decades, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra has been a universal symphonic ensemble with a wide range of repertoire including concert music and opera, and it is one of the most important and oldest orchestras in the Czech Republic. Among the permanent or guest conductors to have collaborated with the orchestra have been Václav Talich, Karel Ančerl, Václav Neumann, Vladimír Válek, and Charles Mackerras. Its present chief conductor is Alexander Liebreich. A number of foreign composers have conducted their own music with the orchestra, including Sergei Prokofiev and Aram Khachaturian. The orchestra has always devoted itself intensively to recording, and it has to its credit the making of audio recordings of many Czech classics that are not a usual part of the repertoire. This is not the orchestra’s first appearance at the Dvořák Prague Festival: back in 2014 it took part in the festival’s world premiere complete performance of Dvořák’s first opera Alfred with its original German libretto.

Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra

Lucie Hilscherová

The mezzo-soprano Lucie Hilscherová studied solo singing, psychology, and music education at the Faculty of Pedagogy of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. She has taken part repeatedly at the Bachakademie in Stuttgart led by Helmuth Rilling and at many vocal master classes. She is a laureate of the Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary. In 2005 she began an engagement at the Prague State Opera, where se sang a number of roles mostly of the Italian repertoire (Rossini, Verdi). Since 2008 she has also been performing at the National Theatre in Prague including roles in operas by Smetana and Tchaikovsky. She is an active concert artist. Under the leadership of Libor Pešek, Jiří Bělohlávek, Helmuth Rilling, Kaspar Zehnder, and other conductors, she has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Bach-Collegium in Stuttgart, the Prague Philharmonia, Collegium 1704, and other ensembles. She performs at the Musikfest in Stuttgart, the Beethovenfest in Bonn, the Grafenegg Musik-Sommer, Prague Spring, and Smetana’s Litomyšl.

Lucie Hilscherová - mezzosoprano

Dana Burešová

Dana Burešová, one of today’s most sought-after Czech sopranos, graduated from the Prague Conservatoire. Already during her studies, she became a soloist with the South Bohemian Theatre in České Budějovice, and she has been engaged at the National Theatre in Prague since 1992/93. There, she has performed leading roles in important works of the Czech and foreign operatic repertoire: Mařenka (The Bartered Bride), Jitka (Dalibor), Vendulka (The Kiss), Hedvika (The Devil’s Wall), Ludiše (The Brandenburgers in Bohemia), Anežka (The Two Widows), Rusalka, Julie (The Jacobin), Jenůfa, the Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen), Tatiana (Eugene Onegin), the Countess (The Marriage of Figaro), Micaëla (Carmen), Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), and Elisabetta di Valois (Don Carlo). One of her most recent major roles was the title part in Smetana’s Libuše. She also appears abroad as a concert and opera artist (England, Germany, Denmark, France, Austria, Japan, the USA). She won a Thalia Prize for her extraordinary performance on stage in the role of Elisabeth in Wagner’s Tannhäuser.

Dana Burešová - soprano

Michal Onufer

Michal Onufer absolvoval Janáčkovu konzervatoř a Fakultu umění v Ostravě pod vedením Elišky Pappové a Petra Mikuláše. Svou profesionální uměleckou dráhu zahájil již během studií v Národním divadle Moravskoslezském. V roce 2013 se stal stálým členem operního souboru Státního divadla v Košicích, kde debutoval jako Sparafucile (Rigoletto) pod taktovkou Petra Valentoviče. Dále se divákům představil v mnoha stěžejních rolích bas-barytonového oboru, např. jako Lindorf, Coppelius, Dapertutto, Miracle (Hoffmannovy povídky), Zachariáš (Nabucco), Ferrando (Trubadůr), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Figaro (Figarova svatba), Salieri (Mozart a Salieri) nebo Revírník (Příhody lišky bystroušky). Také účinkoval ve světových premiérách oper současných autorů, v opeře  Gottgefallig jako Salieri ( Marián Lejava) a jako Tartuffe ve stejnojmenné opeře Norberta Bodnára se Státní filharmonií Košice pod taktovkou Leoše Svarovského.

Ondřej Koplík

Tenorista Ondřej Koplík studoval na pražské AMU u Magdalény Hajóssyové, nadále se zdokonaluje pod vedením Matthiase Beutlicha v Drážďanech. Účastnil se Rossiniho operního festivalu v italském Pesaru a interpretačních kurzů u maestra Bruna de Simonea. Poté získal stálé angažmá v operním sboru Semperoper Dresden a od roku 2009 angažmá jako sólista opery v Moravském divadle Olomouc.V roce 2014 debutoval ve Státní opeře v inscenaci Pucciniho Bohémy, o rok později pak v pražském Národním divadle v Mozartově Kouzelné flétně a Musorgského Borisi Godunovovi. S pražskými operními scénami spolupracuje i nadále (Straussův Netopýr, Verdiho Macbeth, Martinů Juliette, Mozartova Figarova svatba, Donizettiho Poprask v opeře, a další). V září 2018 debutoval jako princ Ramiro v belcantové opeře G. Rossiniho : La Cenerentola v divadle D.X.Šaldy v Liberci. Za tuto roli byl označen v operní bilanci na portále operaplus jako jeden z nejlepších mužských výkonů za rok 2018. V loňském roce se zúčastnil koncertního provedení Dvořákovi Svaté Ludmily v pražském Rudolfinu pod taktovkou Jakuba Hrůši v rámci festivalu Dvořákova Praha 2018.

Jana Sibera

Jana Sibera, soloist of The National Theatre Opera, is one of the most sought-after interpreters of the lyric coloratura roles in the Czech Republic. She graduated from the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She regularly appears in the roles of Violetta, Queen of the Night, Susanna, Gilda, Lucia di Lammermoor, Julliette, Ophelie, The Cunning Little Vixen, Terinka, Blaženka, Mařenka and many others. She is a permanent guest of the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava. In 2017, she was nominated for the Thalia Award for the role of Ophelie, the role she successfully sang in Gothenburg opera house. She collaborates with all major orchestras in the Czech Republic and has toured with the National Theatre in Japan several times. Jana Sibera was invited to sing as the only guest with J. Kaufmann on his profile CD for Decca.

Jana Sibera - soprano

Richard Samek

Tenor Richard Samek was born in Třebíč and graduated from the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts. In 2006, he made his debut on the stage of the National Theatre in Brno. At present he is a regular guest at the National Theatre in Prague, where his roles include Alfredo (La traviata), Werther (Werther), Tamino (The Magic Flute), and the Prince (Rusalka). He makes guest appearances on a number of stages abroad, including the Grand Théâtre de Reims, the Opéra de Limoges, the Opéra de Rennes, the Theater Magdeburg, and the Semperoper in Dresden. In 2015 he took part in a live recording of Smetana’s opera Dalibor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jiří Bělohlávek. He has worked with such outstanding orchestras as the Czech Philharmonic, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. He appears regularly at international music festivals, including the Prague Spring Festival, the Dvořák Prague Festival, the Seefestspiele Mörbisch, and Smetana’s Litomyšl.

Richard Samek - tenor

Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall

The Rudolfinum is one of the most important Neo-Renaissance edifices in the Czech Republic. In its conception as a multi-purpose cultural centre it was quite unique in Europe at the time of its construction. Based on a joint design by two outstanding Czech architects, Josef Zítek and Josef Schultz, a magnificent building was erected serving for concerts, as a gallery, and as a museum. The grand opening on 7 February 1885 was attended by Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria, in whose honour the structure was named. In 1896 the very first concert of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra took place in the Rudolfinum's main concert hall, under the baton of the composer Antonín Dvořák whose name was later bestowed on the hall.