Bohuslav Martinu’s opera Juliette (The Key to Dreams).
Czech and English surtitles.
The opera is closely linked to the National Theatre in Prague, which gave its premiere on 16 March 1938, conducted by Vaclav Talich and directed by Jindrich Honzl, both major Czech artists of the first half of the 20th century. The libretto, written by Martinu himself in French, was based on the Surrealist author Georges Neveux’s play Juliette ou la Cle de songes, first performed at the Théâtre de l’Avenue in Paris in 1930, and staged two years later, in Jindrich Horejsí’s translation, at the Estates Theatre, directed by Jiri Frejka and casting Jirina Sejbalova and Eduard Kohout in the lead roles. In the spring of 1936, Martinu plunged into writing the Czech libretto and composing the music for Juliette, and completed the opera the next January. During that time, he corresponded with Jindrich Honzl and Vaclav Talich, who received the score in March 1937.
The story of Juliette takes place in the poetic and fantasy atmosphere of a dream. The young Paris bookseller Michel arrives in a strange small town, in search of a young woman named Juliette, whose voice he once heard somewhere. His dream, however, gets out of hand, living a life of its own...
There is one 20-minute intermission.
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The program may be subject to change.
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See the full list of opera in Prague.