Programme

Antonín Dvořák: Rusalka, op. 114, B. 203

The moon bathes the entire world in clear light and the hunter vainly hunts for his white doe. The fairytale atmosphere of Rusalka is so intoxicating that it enables us to forget the depth of understanding for stature and wretchedness that are common to both people and supernatural creatures. Dvořák and Kvapil’s Rusalka is a lyric story of desire for a human soul which is full of sin, but also love. It is about the fleetingness of great sentiments and the inability to communicate. But also about the fact that it is not possible to take back one’s decisions. Rusalka is not only a fairytale about unrequited love, but also a psychological and symbolic drama, which has rightfully become one of the most frequently performed Czech operas of the present day.

The conductor Jiří Bělohlávek said of Rusalka that it touches on all aspects of human nature, namely love, desire, passion, betrayal, revenge, death, abandonment and sacrifice, in such a fascinating and natural arc that it takes one’s breath away.

The Dvořák Prague festival has joined forces with the Czech Philharmonic and its principal conductor Semyon Bychkov in order to jointly follow on from the previous activities of the festival’s Opera in Concert series with a performance of Dvořák’s operatic gem. After performances of Dvořák’s lesser known operas, this performance will be of the one that made Dvořák internationally famous as an operatic composer. Semyon Bychkov and the festival’s dramaturgy have invited a group of international soloists such as can be heard at the most famous opera and concert houses around the world. All aspects of Dvořák’s best opera will thus light up with the uninterrupted power of the author’s music.

  • Dress code: black tie
  • Doors close: 6.50 pm
  • End of concert: 10.00 pm

Artists

Czech Philharmonic

The Czech Philharmonic is the foremost Czech orchestra and has long held a place among the most esteemed representatives of Czech culture on the international scene. The beginning of its rich history is linked to the name of Antonín Dvořák, who on 4 January 1896 conducted the ensemble’s inaugural concert. Although the orchestra performs a broad range of the core international repertoire, it is sought out most often for its superb interpretations of the classics by the great Czech composers in a tradition built up by great conductors (Talich, Kubelík, Ančerl, Neumann, and Bělohlávek). In 2008 the prestigious magazine Gramophone ranked it among the twenty best orchestras of the world. One of the orchestra’s most important recent projects has recording Tchaikovsky’s complete orchestral works for the Decca Label with Semyon Bychkov conducting. Since the inception of the Dvořák Prague Festival, the Czech Philharmonic has been its resident orchestra, and since 2018 it has been a holder of the Antonín Dvořák Prize for promoting and popularising Czech classical music abroad and in the Czech Republic.

Czech Philharmonic

Semyon Bychkov

The Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov is one of today’s most sought-after conductors because of his clear opinions on interpretation and his emphasis on beauty of sound. He was born in 1952 in what was then called Leningrad, and he graduated from the conservatoire there. After emigrating from the Soviet Union to the United States in the 1970s, he soon earned an outstanding international reputation. He has been a long-term collaborator with the world’s best orchestras, including the philharmonic orchestras in Vienna, Berlin, and Munich, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. He also devotes himself intensively to opera, conducting at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Vienna State Opera, the Teatro Real Madrid, La Scala in Milan, and the Opéra national de Paris, where he has conducted productions of operas ranging from Mozart’s Don Giovanni to Strauss’s Elektra. He also has a vast discography, including highly acclaimed recordings of Verdi’s Requiem and Wagner’s Lohengrin and the complete symphonies of Brahms. Since the 2018/19 season, he has been the chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic.

Semyon Bychkov - 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

Asmik Grigorian

Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian was born in Vilnius and studied at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy. She was a founding member of Vilnius City Opera and has twice been awarded the Golden Stage Cross (the highest award for singers in Lithuania), in 2005 for her debut as Violetta and in 2010 for her performance as Mrs. Lovett Sweeney Todd. Asmik won the Young Female Singer prize at the International Opera Awards in 2016, followed by Female Singer of the Year in 2019. Asmik has made a name for herself on both the concert and operatic platforms since her international career began with a triumphant performance of Madama Butterfly at the Royal Swedish Opera, proving herself as a committed actress and soprano. She then went on to perform Fedora at the same house with established director Christof Loy, with whom she regularly collaborates, followed by Wozzeck at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Markus Stenz, which received glowing reviews. In 2017 she made her Salzburg Festival debut in Wozzeck directed by William Kentridge and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. This was followed in 2018 by her critically acclaimed title role debut as Salome at the Salzburg Festival, in a new production by Romeo Castellucci under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst. Described as “a Salome to end all Salomes” (Financial Times), the role won her the 2019 Austrian Music Theater Award for Best Female Lead. The 2018/19 season saw Asmik’s triumphant house and role debut at Teatro alla Scala as Marietta in Korngold’s Die tote Stadt under Alan Gilbert in a production by Graham Vick, and her role debut as Iolanta at Oper Frankfurt. The 2019/20 season, although cut short, saw Asmik’s return to the role of Manon Lescaut at Oper Frankfurt and at the Bolshoi, and Chrysothemis Elektra at the Salzburg Festival in a production by Krzysztof Warlikowski under Franz Welser-Möst, and in concert performing Shostakovich 14 with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Alexander Shelley, and Beethoven IX under Riccardo Muti at the Salzburg Festival. Asmik returned to the stage in the 2020/21 season as the title role in Christof Loy’s Rusalka at the Teatro Real Madrid under Ivor Bolton. She performed the title role in Madama Butterfly for her debut at the Wiener Staatsoper and made her concert debut at the Opéra de Paris. The summer festival season saw Asmik’s debut at Bayreuth as Senta in Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new production of Die Fliegende Hollander and a return to Salzburg for Elektra, highlighting the special relationship she shares with the festival. An exciting 2021/22 season begins with Asmik’s highly anticipated debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in a new production of Jenufa by Claus Guth. Asmik returns to the Wiener Staatsoper for two productions; as Elisabetta in Don Carlo under Franz Welser-Möst; and as the title role in Manon Lescaut in a Robert Carsen production under Nicola Luisotti. Asmik will then return to La Scala for Queen of Spades under Valery Gergiev, and make her debuts at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Jenufa in a production by Damiano Michieletto, and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in Queen of Spades under Kirill Petrenko. Asmik works with many of the world's leading conductors including Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, Vasily Petrenko, Franz Welser-Möst, Yves Abel, Vladimir Jurowski, Kirill Petrenko, Oksana Lyniv, Markus Stenz, Mikhail Tatarnikov, Alan Gilbert, and Michael Tilson-Thomas. Asmik frequently collaborates with top stage directors including Dmitri Tcherniakov, Romeo Castellucci, Damiano Michieletto, Robert Carsen, Claus Guth, Dalia Ibelhauptaitė, Christof Loy, Barrie Kosky, Alex Ollé, Peter Konwitschny, Robert Wilson, and Vasily Barkhatov to name a few. 2022 will see the release of Asmik’s debut album, a recording of Rachmaninov Songs with pianist Lukas Genusias for Alpha Classics. They will subsequently perform the programme in a series of recitals around Europe in the 2021/22 season, visiting La Scala Milano, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and the Laeiszhalle Hamburg among many others.

Asmik Grigorian - Rusalka

Dmytro Popov

Ukrainian tenor Dmytro Popov began his career as a soloist with Kiev National Theatre where he made his professional debut as Lensky Eugene Onegin. He came to international attention in 2013 when he performed the role of Rodolfo La bohème at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. From here, Dmytro’s global career took off and he has since performed multiple roles across the world at significant opera houses with highlights including La bohème at the Metropolitan Opera and Bayerische Staatsoper, Alfredo La traviata at Wiener Staatsoper and Mariinsky Theatre, Nicias Thais at Teatro Regio di Torino, Pinkerton Madama Butterfly, Cavaradossi Tosca and Rodolfo Luisa Miller with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vaudémont Iolanta with Teatro Real Madrid, Macduff Macbeth with Opéra National de Lyon, Andrej Mazeppa with Opéra de Monte-Carlo and Riccardo Un ballo in maschera at Théâtre du Capitôle de Toulouse. As well as being an experienced character performer, Popov is established on the concert platform having performed works including Rachmaninov’s The Bells with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome conducted by Antonio Pappano, with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, with the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, and most recently with Orchestre de Paris under Gianandrea Noseda. Additional concert highlights include Verdi’s Requiem at the BBC Proms, Tanglewood Music Festival, with London Philharmonic Orchestra, and in a staged production with Staatsoper Hamburg, A Life for the Tsar at the Festival Radio France, Montpellier and Don José Carmen in concert at the Verbier Festival. A highly successful 2018/19 season saw performances of La traviata at Teatro Regio Torino, Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production of Iolanta with Opéra de Paris, Tosca at the Semperoper Dresden, The Prince in Rusalka at Oper Köln, and Un ballo in Maschera at the Deutsche Oper and Bolshoi Theatre. In concert, Dmytro performed across Europe on a tour of Verdi’s Requiem under Teodor Currentzis, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons, and at the Wigmore Hall with pianist Iain Burnisde in a recital of Russian Song. Although cut short, the 2019/20 season saw performances of La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, Madama Butterfly at the Opéra de Paris, Carmen at Oper Köln, and Verdi’s Requiem at the Hamburgische Staatsoper. Since returning to the stage in 2021, recent engagements have included Mazeppa at the Bolshoi, Carmen at the Wiener Staatsoper and Rusalka at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Engagements this season and beyond include returns to the Dresden Semperoper for Norma and Tosca, Bayerische Staatsoper for Carmen, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Hamburg Staatsoper for La traviata, NDR Hamburg and Oper Koln for Rusalka, among many others. Later, Dmytro returns to the Metropolitan Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Glyndebourne Festival, and Bayerische Staatsoper. An established recording artist, Dmytro has recently released his debut solo record Hymns of Love with Orchid Classics, recorded with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. Dmytro also features on Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta with the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, released on OEHMS Classics (2015) and Rachmaninov’s The Bells with the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and released on EMI (2013). Dmytro continues to work with great conductors such as Antonio Pappano, Sir Mark Elder, Andris Nelsons, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Giampaolo Bisanti, Valery Gergiev, Carlo Rizzi, Thomas Søndergård, Vladimir Jurowski, and Teodor Currentzis, and with many notable directors including Dmitri Tcherniakov, Paul Curran, Peter Sellars, Calixto Beito, Robert Wilson, and many more. Dmytro became the youngest ever opera artist to be granted the title of ‘Honoured Artist of Ukraine’ (2003) which recognises outstanding contribution to performing arts. In 2007, he also became a winner of the prestigious Placido Domingo Operalia Competition.

Dmytro Popov - Prince

Jan Martiník

Born in the Czech Republic, the bass Jan Martinik has won several prizes, including – in 2009 – the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize.

In the past eight years, Jan has been a soloist of Berlin’s Staatsoper Under den Linden, the oldest opera house in Germany, singing in the roles of Brander (La damnation de Faust), Colline (La Bohéme), Eremit (Der Freischütz), Father Trulove (The Rake’s Progress), Pistola (Falstaff), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), and many others. He has also worked with Komische Oper Berlin, Prague’s National Theatre, Vienna’s Volksoper and other opera houses.

A regular guest with the Czech Philharmonic, Jan has recently made appearances with the Bamberger Symphoniker, BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, LSO, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and Staatskapelle Dresden, to name but a few. Coming up are his performances with the LSO, the Czech Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic.

Jan sings under some of the world’s most prominent maestros, including Daniel Barenboim, Jiri Belohlavek, Semyon Bychkov, Manfred Honeck, Jakub Hrusa, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle and Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Jan’s recording of Schubert’s Winterreise, which was recently released by Supraphon, received five Diapasons and his recording of Dvorak’s Biblical Songs with the Czech Philharmonic and Jiri Belohlavek was released on the Decca label in early 2020. He is also one of the soloists on the Czech Philharmonic’s recording of Martinu’s Epos of Gilgamesh (released by Supraphon in 2017) and on Collegium 1704’s recording of Donizetti’s Requiem.

Jan Martiník - Water goblin

Jamie Barton

Jamie Barton is a remarkable artist and recognised as such on both sides of the Atlantic. Her many awards include both First and Song Prize at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the Year Competition, The Richard Tucker Award in 2015 and The Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills Artist Award in 2017 culminating in the invitation to appear as featured soloist in The Last Night of the Proms 2019 - for which she took inclusivity and diversity as her theme - in a performance which was broadcast worldwide on television and on BBC Radio 3 and conducted by Sakari Oramo.

Already a favourite at The Metropolitan Opera, where notable appearances have included Gluck’s Orfeo, Donizetti’s Elisabetta (Maria Stuarda) and Bellini’s Adalgisa (Norma), Jamie Barton has in recent seasons brought many of her key roles to the most prestigious European stages including Azucena (Il trovatore) for her debut at the Bayerische Staastoper under Asher Fisch, Eboli (Don Carlo) at Deutsche Oper, Berlin under Roberto Rizzi-Brignoli; Leonor (La favorite) at Teatro Real, Madrid under Daniel Oren and most recently an incendiary portrayal of Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) at the Festival d’Aix en Provence in a new production by Simon Stone under Sir Simon Rattle and with the London Symphony Orchestra, broadcast and streamed worldwide on Arte.

In concert Jamie Barton has already collaborated with a number of major conductors including Marin Alsop for both Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in her BBC Proms debut and Bernstein’s Symphony No.1 Jeremiah for her London Symphony Orchestra debut, and both Sir Andrew Davis and Sir Antonio Pappano for Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

A consummate recitalist, Jamie Barton has appeared at New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Tanglewood Festival. With pianist Kathleen Kelly, she has appeared in Zankel Hall, the Celebrity Series in Boston, Matinée Musicale Cincinnati, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington as part of Renée Fleming’s VOICES series. Last season Ms Barton debuted at Wigmore Hall with a new programme exploring the works of female composers and the portrayal of women by composers of both genders. Jamie Barton’s latest CD release, Unexpected Shadows, is a collaboration with Jake Heggie and was released by Pentatone at the start of the 2020/21 season to unanimous critical acclaim. They return to live performance together this autumn at Oper Frankfurt and the Barbican.

Jamie Barton - Witch

Jana Kurucová

At the age of fourteen she started her music education in church music, composition, organ, orchestra conducting and singing at the Conservatory J. L. Bellu in Banská Bystrica. In 2002 she received a grant for the University for Music and Drama in Graz and made her operatic debut in The magic Flute ('Second Lady') and La Finta Giardiniera ('Ramiro'). In the season 2005/2006 she became a member of the Young Artists Program of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. From 2005 to2009 she had been a part of ensemble of the Theater Heidelberg and interpreted the roles of 'Cherubino' (Le nozze di Figaro), 'Charlotte' (Werther), 'Sesto' (La clemenza di Tito), 'Idamante' (Idomeneo), 'Rosina' (Il barbiere di Siviglia), 'Ramiro' ( Montezuma), 'Megacle' (L'Olimpiade), 'Lucio' (Tito Manlio).

Since the season 2009/2010 she is a member of the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she sang in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Le Nozze di Figaro. She furthermore performed as 'Fenena' in Nabucco, 'Hänsel' in Hänsel und Gretel, 'Flora' in La Traviata, 'Zerlina' in Don Giovanni, 'Mélisande' in Pelléas et Mélisande.

In the season 2011/2012 she had a great personal success in the role of 'Cherubino' at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin as well as at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Siviglia under the musical guide of Pedro Halffter, and in Karlsruhe. In the role of 'Idamante' in Idomeneo was she at the National Theater of Prag. 'Suzuki' in Madama Butterfly, 'Maffio Orsini' in Lucrezia Borgia (alongside Edita Gruberová), 'Fenena' in Nabucco, 'Meg Page' in Falstaff, 'Zerlina' in Don Giovanni in Berlin and at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari (conductor : Roberto Abbado).2012/13 at the Deutsche Oper Berlin she sung the role of 'Fuchs' in Das Schlaue Füchslein.

In the season 2013/14 she made her successful debut as 'Cherubino'/LE NOZZE DI FIGARO at the Opera in Beijing, and recently her most successful as 'Donna Elvira'/DON GIOVANNI at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and at the Opera Oslo, as well as an outstanding role debut, enthousiastically acclaimed by press and audience, as 'Romeo' in Bellini's I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI on the occasion of a concert performance of that title within the Klangfestival Dortmund, followed by her equally successful debut at the Semperoper Dresden as 'Rosina'/IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. In addition to her further performances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

In 2014/15 she sang her first 'Elisabetta'/MARIA STUARDA in Ostrava, as well as CARMEN (title role) and 'Donna Elvira' /DON GIOVANNI in Prague and Bratislava. In 2016 came for the first time the role of 'Sesto' /GIULIO CESARE at the Semperoper Dresden and she did her debut 'Marta'/BOITO: MEFISTOFELE at the Festspielhaus Baden- Baden. In 2017 she sang her first 'Dorabella'/COSÌ FAN TUTTE at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and she did her house debut at the New National Theatre in Tokyo as 'Cherubino'/LE NOZZE DI FIGARO. In May she sang the role of the 'Isolier' LE COMTE ORY alongside Lawrence Brownlee and Jessica Pratt at the Musikfestival Klangvokal in Dortmund. In September she sang with Christine Opolais, Richard Samek and René Pape Dvořák's Stabat Mater at the Dvořákova Praha Festival.

By the end of the year she sang the Rosina IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA at the Semperoper Dresden and Bratislava, the role of the Elisabetta MARIA STUARDA in Banská Bystrica. She performs at the Svátky hudby v Praze Festival in the Rudolfinum Hall in Prague, as well as at the Christmas concert in the Reduta concert hall in Bratislava.

In May 2018 she was 'Martha' Boito: MEFISTOFELE alongside Joseph Calleja and Erwin Schrott at the Bayerische Stateopera in Munich and she sang the role of 'Elisabetta' from Donizetti: MARIA STUARDA alongside Diana Damrau and Javier Camarena at the Deutsche Oper Berlin where she also gave her debut as 'Siebel' Gounod: FAUST

In the autumn of 2018 she made her debut as 'Prinz Orlofsky' DIE FLEDERMAUS and in January 2019 she sang the double role of 'Muse/Nicklausse' LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. At the some time she sang the role of Carmen at National Theater Prag and in Slovak National Theater Bratislava.

In April she made her haus debut at the Smetana Hall in Prag, where she sang Dvořák's STABAT MATER Since this season 2019/2020 she is a member of the ensemble of the Staatsoper Hamburg. She sang there roles of the 'Cherubino' LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, of the 'Brigitta' DIE TOTE STADT and of the 'Hänsel' HÄNSEL UND GRETEL. In the some time she sung at theDeutsche Oper Berlin 'Fenena' NABUCCO, 'Prinz Orlofsky' DIE FLEDERMAUS and 'Hänsel' HÄNSEL UND GRETEL.

In February she sung 'Donna Elvira' DON GIOVANNI in Graz Opera and the role of 'Dorabella' COSÌ FAN TUTTE at the Semperoper Dresden. And also the role of 'Engel' in Schumann's DAS PARADIES UND PERI at the Slovak Philharmonie in Bratislava.

She opened the Saison 2020/2021 with the Production MOLTO AGITATO at the Stateopera Hamburg with Kent Nagano and Frank Castorf. In April 2021 In April 2021 she worked at the concert series ARTE CONCERT: EUROPE @ HOME at the side of Daniel Hope, where she presented her country: Slovakia with various songs. In mai she made her role debut as 'Preziosilla' LA FORZA DEL DESTINO at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. 

Jana Kurucová - Foreign princess

Markéta Klaudová

She was born into a musical family in Brno, started out in the Kantiléna choir and subsequently participated in many domestic and international performances (Japan, Great Britain, Austria) as a member of the children’s choir at the National Theatre in Brno. She successfully represented Masaryk University in Brno in a number of singing competitions during her studies at the Faculty of Education there and in 2014 she continued her studies abroad at the State Conservatory in Campobasso, Italy, under the tutelage of Professor Alda Caiello. In the same year, she also took part in the Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary, where she received two special awards for her performance. She successfully completed her master’s degree in 2018 and now regularly works with a number of orchestras (AKAMUS, L’Armonia Terrena, the Czech Philharmonic, Czech virtuosi, the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic, etc.) and conductors (M. Minkowski, A. Liebreich, J. Kyzlink, Z. Klauda, J. Klecker, R. Kružík and others).

She received her first theatrical experience thanks to the New Operetta Studio in Brno and has been a regular guest performer at the majority of Czech theatres since 2016: the National Theatre in Prague (Pamina, Servilia, Barena), the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen (Ilia, Ottavia), the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava (Servilia, 1st Nymph) and the Silesian Theatre in Opava (Countess Almaviva). She also participates at a large number of festivals every year (Smetana’s Litomyšl, the Znojmo Music Festival, the Janáček May International Music Festival, “Zlatá Pecka”, Concentus Moraviae, and so on).

In this year’s season, she will once again perform the role of Mařenka in a production of the Bartered Bride at the National Theatre, Donna Elvira in a production of Don Giovanni at the Silesian Theatre in Opava and also in the summer theatrical production of Handel’s Messiah at the Revolving Theatre in Český Krumlov. This is her sixth year as a permanent member of the Czech Ensemble Baroque under the leadership of Roman Válek, which is involved in authentic performances of early music. She regularly participates in courses and competitions, for example a masterclass with the baroque icon Emma Kirkby or courses led by Kateřina & Adam Plachetka. In August 2018, she also became a laureate at the prestigious Cesti singing competition in Innsbruck. She was included in the wider nomination for the 2020 Thalia Award for her rendition of the role of the Countess in a production of The Marriage of Figaro at the Silesian Theatre in Opava.

Markéta Klaudová - First wood sprite

Markéta Cukrová

The mezzo-soprano Markéta Cukrová is a unique phenomenon on the Czech vocal music scene. She is a sought after performer of music from the Middle Ages to the 20th century due to her exceptional versatility and sense of musical style. Her long-term success in stylistic performance has seen her cooperate with many renowned ensembles and orchestras (La Risonanza, Mala Punica, Les Muffatti, Collegium Marianum, Collegium Vocale Gent, Collegium 1704, {OH} Orkiestra Historyczna, the Czech Philharmonic, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra), with which she has contributed to more than twenty recordings.

Her recordings of 8 Italian arias by J. D. Zelenka with the Ensemble Tourbillon and J. J. Ryba’s Stabat Mater with the L’Armonia Terrena orchestra, which received the Diapason D’Or Award in 2017, have garnered significant interest from Europe’s expert public. A CD of Antonín Dvořák’s Moravian Duets accompanied by the composer’s own piano (Šaturová, Spurný) was released in 2018. Markéta’s other activities include the dramaturgy for the successful Baroko 2015 showcase in the West Bohemian Region as part of the Pilsen 2015 European Capital of Culture project.

She is also involved in teaching in the form of courses and lessons focussing on singing technique and the interpretation of vocal music. She has translated a book of discussions on singing technique and vocal teaching by the famous teacher Margreet Honig, which has been released under the title Skutečný zpěv (Real Singing).

In addition to her extensive concert activities, Markéta also dedicates herself to theatre work. She received rave reviews for her performance of the role of Dardanus in Handel’s opera Amadigi di Gaula at the Händel-Festspiele in Göttingen, Germany and was invited by the festival to perform a solo recital. This was followed by guest performances at the National Theatres in Košice (Handel/Alcina), Brno (Martinů/The Plays of Mary, Purcell/Dido et Aeneas, Saariaho/ L'Amour de loin, Rossini/ Le comte Ory, Offenbach/The Tales of Hoffmann, Ivanovič/Monument), Prague (Monteverdi/L’Orfeo, Handel/Rinaldo, Martinů/Julietta) and Ostrava (Britten/The Rape of Lucretia, Gluck/ Iphigénie en Aulide, Martinů/Julietta). In recent years, she has been included in the short nomination for the Thalia Award for the role of the Pilgrim in a production of L'Amour de loin, the Jantar Award for artists of the Moravian-Silesian Region for the role of Bianca in a production of The Rape of Lucretia and the Classic Prague Award for a concert performance.

Markéta Cukrová - Second wood sprite

Monika Jägerová

Monika Jägerová is one of the hopes of the youngest singing generation. She debuted on the Czech opera stage in 2017 in the role of Mrs. Quickly (Falstaff) at the Silesian Theater in Opava, where she then introduced herself as Kohout (Cunning Little Vixen) and Háta (The Bartered Bride). In the 2018/2019 season, she made her debut at the Moravian-Silesian National Theater in Ostrava in the roles of Princess (Suor Angelica), and Zita (Gianni Schicchi). In 2021 she performed as the 3rd Wood Nymph in Dvořák‘s Rusalka at Bergen Nasjonale Opera, Norway. At the Teatro Verdi in Trieste, Italy, in the role of Mrs. Baggot she participated in the international performance of Britten's opera The Little Sweep (2016) and performed the alto part in the stage oratorio Stabat Mater by Valentina Shuklina (2017). In season 2021/2022 she will perform as Bradamante in National Theater Brno (G. F. Händel: Alcina) and as Barbara/Sofia Petrovna (H. Krása: Verlobung im Traum, NDM).

She is passionately dedicated to the interpretation of early music, regularly collaborating with ensembles such as Collegium 1704, Czech Ensemble Baroque, Hof-Musici, and Ensemble Damian; in 2019 she was a guest at the Oude Muziek festival in Utrecht with the Tourbillon Ensemble. She regularly performes at the Castle Baroque Theatre in Český Krumlov. Among all she performed here as Timante (J. A. Hasse: Demofoonte, 2019) for which role she gained wider nomination for prestigeous Thalie Prize 2019. At the Olomouc Baroque Festival she performed as Gloria (Vivaldi: La Gloria e Imeneo, 2018) and Giove (Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf: Il Tribunale di Giove, 2019). For the summer season in Vadstena, Sweden, she assumed the role of Ascalax (G. Ph. Telemann: Orfeo, 2019).

Monika Jägerová studied singing with Pavla Zumrová, and interpretation of early music with Irena Troupová. She has attended master classes with Emmy Kirkby (Dartington International Summer School 2015), Chantal Santon Jeffery, and Deda Cristina Colonna (Academy Versailles 2018), Markéta Cukrová and Lorenzo Charoy (Summer School of Early Music Valtice 2015).

In 2016 she won the Prague Singer International Singing Competition, in 2017 she received an honorable mention at the Iuventus Canti International Singing Competition (Vráble, Slovakia) and made it to the finals of the Renata Tebaldi International Singing Competition in San Marino. In 2019 she won 3rd prize in the Lieder category at the Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary. She also studied violin at the Jan Deyl Conservatory in Prague, and musicology at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University.

Monika Jägerová - Third wood sprite

Štěpánka Pučálková

The Czech mezzo-soprano Štěpánka Pučálková has been a soloist and member of the Semperoper ensemble in Dresden since the 2018/2019 season.

She was born in Berlin and studied under Professors Elisabeth Wilk, E. Gramss and J. Wallnig at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, graduating in 2012. At the same time, she also received the Lilli Lehman Medal from the Stiftung Mozarteum organisation.

She will debut as Adalgisa in Norma, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel or as Hagar in the world premiere of the opera Die andere Frau during the 2021/2022 season at the Semperoper.

This year, she performed at the opening gala concert of the international music festival in Český Krumlov as a guest of Plácido Domingo.

She has performed at significant festivals and theatres such as Mozartwoche Salzburg, Salzburger Festspiele, Osterfestspiele Salzburg, the Beijing Music festival and others.

She debuted in the role of Siegrune in Die Walküre under the baton of Christian Thielemann, accompanied by the Staatskapelle Dresden and directed by Vera Nemirova at the 50th anniversary of the Osterfestspiele in Salzburg. This production was also performed in Beijing in 2017 as a coproduction with the Beijing Music Festival. She was a finalist in the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in 2015 and also received the prize for the “Best Female Voice” at the Concours International de Belcanto Vincenzo Bellini in Marseille.

At the beginning of 2019, she performed under the baton of the maestro Plácido Domingo at a “Mozart’s birthday” concert at the Estates Theatre in Prague. In 2018, she debuted at the National Theatre in the role of Charlotte in the opera Werther, for which she received the Director of the National Theatre Award for Artists under 35 and was also nominated for a Thalia Award.

She has performed many of the principal mezzo-soprano roles at the Semperoper in Dresden, such as Page Urbain in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots, Sesto in Giulio Cesare, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, the Muse/Nicklausse in The Tales of Hoffmann, Rosina in The Barber of Seville and Olga in Eugene Onegin. In January 2020, she debuted at the Wiener Volksoper in the role of Carmen.

Štěpánka Pučálková - Kitchen boy

Boris Prýgl

The bass-baritone Boris Prýgl is one of the current crop of talented young singers. Since the 2019/20 season, he has been a soloist at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, where his repertoire includes the roles of Moralès (Carmen), Ping (Turandot), Prince Ottokar (Der Freischütz), the Hunter (Rusalka) etc.

He has several victories in singing competitions to his name, including the title of the absolute winner of the 2015 Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary, from which he also walked away with a large number of special prizes, including the Prague National Theatre Opera Prize and the Prague Spring International Music Festival’s Prize. His international successes include 2nd place at the Ferruccio Tagliavini Competition in Austria. In July 2017, he reached the finals of two of the most prestigious international singing competitions: Belvedere and Plácido Domingo’s Operalia. In September 2019, he received the Vienna State Opera Director Dominique Meyer Award at the Stella Maris International Vocal Competition.

Boris Prýgl graduated from Peter Mikuláš’ class at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and he received his first on-stage experience at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava as Leporello (Don Giovanni), Don Basilio (The Barber of Seville), Don Fernando (Fidelio), Pietro (Simon Boccanegra), Brander (the Damnation of Faust) and in the title role of Paisiello’s opera King Theodore in Venice. In May 2017, he performed a recital at the Prague Spring International Music Festival and took on the role of the Tutor in the Czech premiere of Rossini’s opera Le comte Ory at the National Theatre in Brno. He was a member of the Bavarian State Opera’s operatic studio in Munich in 2017–2019.

Boris Prýgl - Gamekeeper

Jiří Brückler

He studied singing at the Prague Conservatory under the guidance of Jiří Kotouč and then continued his studies at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Roman Janál from 2008. He is the winner of the junior category at the Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary. He was a guest performer at the State Opera in Prague in Dvořák’s Rusalka and Puccini’s Turandot from 2004 and in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Bizet’s Carmen from the 2010/2011 season. He has performed the role of Silvio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Moralès in Bizet’s Carmen at the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec. He was included in the wider nomination for the 2009 Thalia Award for his performance as Silvio. In 2011 and 2012, he performed the same role for the Český Krumlov International Music Festival alongside José Cura in the role of Canio. In the 2011/2012 season, he accepted a residency with the State Opera in Prague and he has been a soloist at the National Theatre Opera and the State Opera in Prague since 2012. There, he has performed roles such as Rodrigo in Verdi’s Don Carlos, Figaro in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Dandini in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Don Giovanni in the opera Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Marcello in Puccini’s opera La bohème, Silvio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Papageno in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Ping in Puccini’s Turandot, Adolf in Dvořák’s The Jacobin, Mercutio in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, the Maestro in Donizetti’s Viva la Mamma, Harašta in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Čekunov in Janáček’s opera From the House of the Dead, Henry Cuff in Britten’s Gloriana, Albert in Massenet’s Werther and many others. He was nominated for the Thalia Award in 2013 for his performance as Rodrigo in Verdi’s Don Carlos. He is a regular guest at the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen where he has performed the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Frank in Puccini’s Edgar, Silvio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Pseudolus in Martinů’s The Soldier and the Dancer. He is a regular guest at the National Theatre in Brno (Rodrigo in Verdi’s opera Don Carlos, the title role in Eugene Onegin, Gilgamesh in Martinů’s The Epic of Gilgamesh, Valentin in Gounod’s Faust and Marguerite, Marcello in La bohème, Ping in Puccini’s Turandot, Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Moralès in Bizet’s Carmen) and on other Czech stages. He is the holder of the Director of the National Theatre Award for Artists under 35 from August 2018. In the 2022/2023 season, he will perform in the title role of the opera Schwanda the Bagpiper at the National theatre in Prague, amongst others.

Jiří Brückler - Hunter

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.