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Monday, September 18, 2023, 8.00 pm
Opera in Concert

Ticket prices

1890 – 690 Kč


Antonín Dvořák: Silent Woods, Op. 68Antonín Dvořák: Rondo, Op. 94Bohuslav Martinů: Mirandolina – SaltarelloBohuslav Martinů: Mirandolina – Mirandolina’s ariaKarel Kovařovic: The Dogheads – Lomikar’s ariaZdeněk Fibich: Šárka – Šárka’s aria “Vše ticho kolem”Vítězslav Novák: Karlštejn – aria of Charles IV “Je-li nutno, pane Vévodo”Leoš Janáček: Jenůfa – Jenůfa’s scene “Mamičko, mám těžkou hlavu”Leoš Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen – the Forester’s scene “Neříkal jsem to”Bedřich Smetana: The Secret – overtureBedřich Smetana: The Secret – Kalina’s aria “Jsem žebrák”Bedřich Smetana: The Bartered Bride – Mařenka’s aria “Ach, jaký žal”Bedřich Smetana: The Devil’s Wall – Vok’s aria “Jen jediná”Vilém Blodek: In the Well – IntermezzoAntonín Dvořák: Armida, op. 115 – Armida, Op. 115 –Armida’s aria “Za štíhlou gazelou”Antonín Dvořák: The Jacobin, op. 84 – duet of Julie and Bohuš “My cizinou jsme bloudili”

Only through singing can we find solace, as embodied in The Jacobin, Antonín Dvořák’s opera in which he fused Czech culture with his love of music: on returning to their homeland, the main characters, husband and wife Bohuš and Julie, use their singing talents as evidence of their Czechness.

In this vein, real-world married couple Kateřina Kněžíková and Adam Plachetka will bring Dvořák’s vision to life in a series of arias from Czech operas. They both have extensive experience on stages both in this country and abroad, including the renowned festival in Glyndebourne in the UK and the Metropolitan Opera in the US. This time, they have picked arias from the Czech repertoire, including lesser-played pieces. We will hear the infamous Lamminger from Psohlavci (The Dogheads) composed by Karel Kovařovic, the mythological figure of Šárka – composer Zdeněk Fibich’s heroine from The Maidens’ War, and Dvořák’s passionate enchantress Armida. The “greatest Czech” Charles IV will also feature in an aria from the opera based on the play A Night at Karlstein. All of this will be complemented by the timeless operas of Bedřich Smetana and Leoš Janáček, culminating with Dvořák’s tribute to Czech musicality.

  • Dress code: dark suit
  • End of concert: 9:45 pm


National Theatre Orchestra

The National Theatre Orchestra ranks among the oldest orchestras in the Czech Republic. Its roots stretch back to the Provisional Theatre era (1862-1883), when the Karel Komzák ensemble became the official orchestra of the Provisional Theatre (The Royal State Czech Theatre in Prague) in 1865.

The formation of the orchestra was influenced by its first conductors Jan Nepomuk Mayr, who was followed by Bedřich Smetana and later Adolf Čech. The world-famous composer Antonín Dvořák also performed as a violist in the orchestra of the Provisional Theatre. Karel Kovařovic, composer and opera director of the National Theatre from 1900-1920, was the orchestra’s harpist. With the much larger National Theatre, which finally opened on 18 November 1883, the orchestra was expanded to include many other instrumentalists thanks to the then director of the National Theatre, František Adolf Šubert.

Prominent personalities leading the orchestra include opera directors and conductors Karel Kovařovic, Otakar Ostrčil, Václav Talich, Jaroslav Vogel, Otakar Jeremiáš, Zdeněk Chalabala, Jaroslav Krombholc, František Vajnar and Zdeněk Košler. The orchestra also worked closely with Richard Strauss, Karl Böhm, Charles Mackerras, Bohumil Gregor, Jiří Kout, Jiří Bělohlávek, John Fiore, and from the youngest generation of Czech conductors Tomáš Hanus, Tomáš Netopil and Jakub Hrůša.

The orchestra has performed world premieres of operas by Bedřich Smetana (and his symphonic poem Má vlast), Antonín Dvořák (as well as his cantatas Stabat Mater, Symphonies No 4 and 8, overtures Carnival, In Nature’s Realm and Othello, Slavic Dances etc.), operas by Zdeněk Fibich, Leoš Janáček (The Excursions of Mr. Brouček to the Moon and to the 15th Century) and Bohuslav Martinů (Juliette) and others. The orchestra was the first to perform Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's operas Eugen Onegin and The Queen of Spades outside of Russia, and Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello and Falstaff outside of Italy.

The orchestra performs at opera and ballet performances and concerts in the National Theatre and the Estates Theatre. During the tours of the National Theatre, the orchestra has performed not only in the Czech Republic (Prague Spring Festival, Smetana’s Litomyšl, etc.), but also in Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands (The Holland Festival), Scotland (The Edinburgh Festival), Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Japan. The orchestra has also recoded music with Czechoslovak and Czech Radio, Czechoslovak and Czech Television, and music publishing companies Esta, Supraphon and Deutsche Grammophon.

National Theatre Orchestra

Robert Jindra

Robert graduated from the Prague Conservatory in classical singing and conducting. At the National Theatre, he staged the world premiere of Tomáš Hanzlík’s opera Lacrimae Alexandri Magni, Smetana’s The Two Widows or Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte. There, he has also conducted a number of works from the Czech and world opera repertoire (Smetana: Libuše, Dvořák: Rusalka, Janáček: Káťa Kabanová and Jenůfa, Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro, Bizet: Carmen, Verdi: Falstaff and many others).

In the 2013/2014 season, he worked at the National Theatre as the music director of the opera, and as a conductor he staged productions of Janáček’s operas The Cunning Little Vixen and From the House of the Dead. From 2010-14, Robert was the music director of the opera of the Moravian-Silesian National Theatre in Ostrava where he staged, for example, Smetana's The Devil’s Wall, Dvořák’s Armida, Janáček’s Jenůfa and The Makropulos Affair, Wagner’s Lohengrin, Verdi’s Falstaff and many other titles.

He worked closely with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and worked at the Aalto-Musiktheater und Philharmonie Essen. In 2022 he conducted at the Norwegian Opera in Oslo (Jenůfa, 2022), at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava (Verdi: La traviata) and the Košice State Theatre. In 2021, as part of the Munich Opera Festival, Robert conducted Dvořák's Rusalka at the Bavarian State Opera and made his debut at the Graz opera with Weinberger's Schwanda the Bagpiper. In 2022, he also conducted The Cunning Little Vixen at the Bavarian State Opera. Since the 2021/2022 season, Robert Jindra has been the chief conductor of the Slovak State Philharmonic Košice, and from the 2022/2023 season, he has been the music director of the National Theatre Opera in Prague and the chief guest conductor of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Robert Jindra - conductor

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

Adam Plachetka

A Prague native, Adam Plachetka studied at the Prague Conservatoire under Luděk Löbl and at the Academy of Performing Arts.

In 2005 he made his debut at the National Theatre in Prague, where he has since appeared as Don Giovanni, Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro, Il barbiere di Siviglia), Nardo (La finta giardiniera), Argante (Rinaldo), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Přemysl (Libuše), and Vladislav (Dalibor).

He performs regularly at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (Don Giovanni, L’elisir d’amore, Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, Rodelinda, Peter Grimes), at the Wiener Staatsoper (La bohème, Alcina, L’elisir d’amore, Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Il barbiere di Siviglia, L’Italiana in Algeri, La Cenerentola, Don Pasquale, I Puritani), and at the Salzburger Festspiele (Benvenuto Cellini, Rusalka, Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte).

Other operatic performances include appearances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London (Don Giovanni, L’elisir d’amore), the Baden-Baden Festival (Così fan tutte, La clemenza di Tito), Glyndebourne (Le nozze di Figaro), Carnegie Hall in New York (Salome), the Deutsche Oper and the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin (Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro), the Teatro alla Scala (Così fan tutte, L’Italiana in Algeri), the Chicago Lyric Opera (Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Il barbiere di Siviglia), the Opéra de Paris (La Cenerentola), and the Houston Grand Opera (Le nozze di Figaro).

His concert appearances include performances at the Musikverein in Vienna, the Musikverein in Graz, London’s Wigmore Hall, Usher Hall in Edinburgh, the Herkulessaal in Munich, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Konserthuset in Stockholm, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, and the Municipal House and the Rudolfinum in Prague. He has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, radio orchestras in France, Bavaria, and Austria, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Adam Plachetka has made recordings for Arte, Arthaus Musik, Capriccio, Clasart Classics, Czech Television, Czech Radio, Deutsche Grammophon, Mezzo, Naxos, Nibiru, Orfeo, ORF, Pentatone, Radioservis, Servus TV, Supraphon, and Unitel Classica.

He has appeared under the baton of such conductors as Marco Armiliato, Daniel Barenboim, Mariss Jansons, Fabio Luisi, Riccardo Muti, Andris Nelsons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Christian Thielemann, and Franz Welser-Möst.

Adam Plachetka - baritone

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.