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Sunday, September 1, 2019, 4.30 pm

 

 

Programme

Antonín Dvořák: King and Collier, B 21 and B 42 (selections from the first and second musical settings)Antonín Dvořák: Tui nati vulnerati, for mixed choir from Stabat Mater, Op. 58, B 71Antonín Dvořák: The Spectre’s Bride, Op. 69, B 135 (selections)Antonín Dvořák: Hymn of the Czech Peasants, Op. 28, B 143Antonín Dvořák: Sanctus from the Mass in D Major (“Lužany”), Op. 86, B 153Antonín Dvořák: The Maiden and the Grass, from the cycle Four Songs on Serbian Folk Poems, Op. 6, B 29Antonín Dvořák: “Clouds and darkness are round about him”, from the cycle Biblical Songs, Op. 99, B 185Antonín Dvořák: Songs My Mother Taught Me, from the cycle Gypsy Melodies, Op. 55, B 104Josef Bohuslav Foerster: The PloughmanNorbert Kubát: “O heart, in what hast thou sinned”Hynek Palla: My LoveAntonín Dvořák: final scene from the opera The Devil and Kate, Op. 112, B 201

This year, the traditional festival prelude On the Trail of Antonín Dvořák is taking us to Pilsen, a major city of western Bohemia. Although Pilsen is not frequently associated with the composer’s name, during his lifetime it represented one of the most active bastions of the Dvořák cult in the Czech lands. The composer visited Pilsen repeatedly, and he maintained long-term friendly contacts with the musical circles there. He often conducted his major choral works in Pilsen, including the world premiere of his cantata The Spectre’s Bride in March 1885. Besides the hall where that important event took place, we will also be visiting other authentic sites where the composer went during his stays in the city, and all of this will be accompanied by expert commentary from the festival musicologist, Dr. David Beveridge. Naturally, there will also be plenty of Dvořák’s music. The concert’s unusually varied programme has been “made to order” for this event: every work performed will represent the composer’s ties to Pilsen on one way or another. Dvořák himself conducted some of these works there, while others were sung by his daughter Magda, a highly regarded alto. Local musicians also gave performances in Dvořák’s honour, and one of the composer’s librettists came from Pilsen. We hope that these performances in a city the composer liked to visit will make the story of “Dvořák and Pilsen” feel more concrete and will, at least for a moment, help us take an imaginary look back to a time when it was possible to meet Antonín Dvořák when walking through the streets of Pilsen.

  • Doors close: 16.25
  • End of concert: 18.30

Artists

Prague Chamber Choir

The Prague Chamber Choir was originally established as a select chamber ensemble consisting of former members of the Prague Philharmonic Choir. In 1991 it became an independent choir that was known mainly on the international scene. It has performed at dozens of festivals, including the Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, the Wiener Festwochen, the Hamburg Musikfeste, and the Stuttgarter Musikfest. For several years, it was the regular ensemble-in-residence at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy, and at Ireland’s Wexford Festival Opera. It has given more than 300 performances and tours in Europe, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, and Israel. Its chief choirmasters have been Josef Pančík and Jaroslav Brych, while several other important choral conductors have also worked with the choir, including Pavel Kühn, Lubomír Mátl, Robert Hugo, and Miriam Němcová. The choir has made dozens of recordings for renowned domestic and foreign labels (such as Orfeo, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Supraphon), and it has worked with leading conductors and singers (including Zubin Mehta, Manfred Honeck, Helmuth Rilling, and Plácido Domingo).

Prague Chamber Choir

Ahmad Hedar

From childhood, the pianist, singer, and teacher Ahmad Hedar sang in the Pueri Gaudentes choir. He completed his piano studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the studios of Martin Kasík and František Malý. He has taken part in many masterclasses, including one led by Paul Badura-Skoda. He has worked as an opera coach with leading singers of the younger generation, including Petr Nekoranec, Kateřina Kněžíková, and Roman Hoza as well as with opera legends like Gabriela Beňačková and Eva Randová. In 2016 he took the prize for best piano accompaniment at the Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary. He is a member of Run OpeRun, which brings opera to a young public and to the general public at unusual venues. With them, he has rehearsed productions of The Magic Flute, Le nozze di Figrao, Rusalka, and La voix humaine. In 2019 he earned a fellowship from the prestigious Bayreuther Festspiele. In addition to playing piano, he also devotes himself to both operatic and non-classical singing. Since 2019 he has been teaching at the Jan Deyl Conservatory.

Ahmad Hedar - piano

Tereza Hořejšová

Soprano Tereza Hořejšová is a graduate of the Pardubice Conservatory and of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She is a laureate of several international competitions and twice was a winner of the Antonín Dvořák Competition in Karlovy Vary in the Junior and Song categories. She was also a successful participant at the Éva Marton International Singing Competition in Budapest and the Ferruccio Tagliavini Competition in Deutschlandsberg. For a year, she studied in Milan at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatoire, where she introduced herself in the contemporary opera Valentina by Arturs Maskats, in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and in Verdi’s La traviata. In the last two years, she has been touring Germany and Switzerland regularly as the First Lady (The Magic Flute) and Anna (Nabucco). She has made guest appearances in Liberec in the role of Ciboletta (Night in Venice) and the Second Wood Sprite (Rusalka). She works regularly as a freelance artist with the Prague Philharmonic Choir, and besides singing, she devotes herself to playing piano and working as an opera coach. She has a great passion for recitals with piano, especially in the Czech and foreign song literature.

Tereza Hořejšová - 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

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

Lenka Navrátilová

Lenka Navrátilová studied piano and harpsichord at the Teplice Conservatoire and choral conducting of sacred music at the Faculty of Pedagogy of Charles University in Prague. Since 2015 she has been the choirmaster of the Kühn Choir of Prague, and she is a professor of operatic vocal coaching and accompanying at the Prague Conservatoire and the piano accompanist of the Prague Philharmonic Choir. She has engaged in long-term cooperation with the opera ensemble of the National Theatre in Prague, the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and the Antonín Dvořák International Vocal Centre in Karlovy Vary. In the course of her career, she has had the opportunity of collaborating with such world-famous conductors as Claudio Abbado, Sir George Solti, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Christopher Hogwood, Fabio Luisi, and Jiří Bělohlávek. She has also taken part in the musical preparations of non-operatic theatrical productions including A Walk Worthwhile at the National Theatre in Prague.