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Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Die tote Stadt

Sometimes memories get shut away in a temple of the past. But suddenly a young dancer happens to walk past, and everything is turned on its head. Composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold, whose career began in Brno and reached its highpoint in Hollywood, created his masterpiece in the opera Die tote Stadt (The Dead City). Concealed within the flow of this melodic, listener-friendly music is the story of the child prodigy Erich Korngold and his tremendous dramatic talent, who went on to create the typical sounds of the golden era of American cinema – Korngold’s film music won two Oscars. Musically, the opera Die tote Stadt withstands comparisons with the works of Italian verismo composers such as Puccini or with the operas of Richard Strauss, and the unyielding insistence on the beautiful would be the envy of even the soulful Irish hedonist Oscar Wilde.

This deeply psychological and emotionally intoxicating drama concerns a man who cannot come to terms with the death of his wife, finally projecting her onto a random acquaintance. The passion of love cannot be separated from dreamy glimpses of the past. Is it happiness that has abandoned us, or faith in resurrection? We will discover our answer from a concert performance of the opera Die tote Stadt with Vida Miknevičiūtė and Roberto Saccà at the forefront of a stellar cast, the Prague Philharmonic Choir, and the Prague Symphony Orchestra led by its chief conductor Tomáš Brauner.


Prague Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1934, the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) is a leading Czech ensemble with an impressive tradition and international reputation, which enriches the concert life of the Czech metropolis and represents Prague and Czech culture abroad at the highest level. As the official orchestra of the City of Prague, it is based and performs in the attractive space of Smetana Hall of the Municipal House. The abbreviation FOK stands for Film - Opera – Koncert, which was the orchestra’s original focus.

Tomáš Brauner has been Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra since the 2020/2021 season. Prior to him, Rudolf Pekárek, Václav Smetáček, Jiří Bělohlávek, Petr Altrichter, Gaetano Delogu, Serge Baudo, Jiří Kout, and Pietari Inkinen held this post. Tomáš Netopil has been designated Chief Conductor from the 2025/2026 season. Rita Chepurchenko and Roman Patočka are the orchestra’s first violinists.

The orchestra has maintained its artistic reputation and respect throughout its existence by working with internationally renowned conductors (Václav Talich, Rafael Kubelík, Karel Ančerl, Sir Georg Solti, Seiji Ozawa, Walter Süsskind, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Carlos Kleiber, Sir Charles Mackerras, Charles Dutoit, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Leonard Slatkin, Michel Plasson, Neeme Järvi, Krzysztof Penderecki, Christoph Eschenbach, Eliahu Inbal, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Paavo Järvi, Richard Hickox, Andrey Boreyko, Helmuth Rilling, Jac van Steen, and others); instrumental soloists (David Oistrach, Isaac Stern, Josef Suk, Rudolf Firkušný, Sviatoslav Richter, Claudio Arrau, Ivan Moravec, Garrick Ohlsson, Maurice André, Mstislav Rostropovich, Mischa Maisky, Martha Argerich, Heinrich Schiff, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Sergei Nakariakov, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Vadim Repin, Pinchas Zukerman, Felix Klieser, Lukáš Vondráček, Maxim Vengerov, and others) and vocalists (Kim Borg, Katia Ricciarelli, Gabriela Beňačková, José Cura, Anne Sofie von Otter, Peter Dvorský, Edita Gruberová, Thomas Hampson, Ruggero Raimondi, Philip Langridge, Renée Fleming, Bernarda Fink, Linda Watson, Eva Urbanová, Simon O'Neill, and others).

Each season, the Prague Symphony Orchestra plays over fifty orchestral concerts in Prague. Before the season opens, the orchestra meets its audience at a traditional free open-air concert in the Wallenstein Garden.

The Prague Symphony Orchestra has performed in most European countries, as well as repeatedly in the United States, and has also visited South America, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Turkey, Israel, Oman, China, and other countries. In August 2022, it made its debut at the Elbe Philharmonic in Hamburg. In 2023, the orchestra performed in Austria, Germany, and Hungary. Traditional tour destinations include Japan and South Korea, which the orchestra visited in January 2024.

The orchestra's long tradition is documented by its extensive catalogue of gramophone, radio and television recordings, and the most interesting archival recordings have been made available online. The orchestra recorded the music for most Czech films in the 1930s. Under the baton of its chief conductor, Tomáš Brauner, the Prague Symphony Orchestra has recently recorded Dvořák's Slavonic Dances, works by Karel Husa, including the legendary Music for Prague 1968, and piano concertos by Sergei Rachmaninov with Lukáš Vondráček.

The FOK brand is also associated with the organisation of chamber concerts. Prague audiences have become very fond of the Chamber Music and Early Music series at the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude. The FOK also traditionally organises a series of piano recitals in Dvořák Hall at the Rudolfinum, the chamber concert series Pictures and Music at Agnes Monastery, and music and literary programmes in the Word and Music series at the Viola Theatre.

source: FOK

Tomáš Brauner

In 2020, Tomáš Brauner became Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. From 2013–2018, he was Chief Conductor of the Plzeň Philharmonic, from 2014–2018 he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra in Prague, and from 2018–2021 he was Chief Conductor of the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic.

In 2018, Tomáš Brauner toured with the Prague Symphony Orchestra in Munich (Rachmaninoff: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3) and in Poznań (Smetana: My Country). In 2022, he performed with the Prague Symphony Orchestra in Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and in 2023 in Wiesbaden and Dresden. In the 2023/2024 season, he and FOK will tour to Austria, Germany, Japan, and South Korea.

Tomáš Brauner regularly works with leading symphony orchestras and opera houses, including the Czech Philharmonic, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Münchner Symphoniker, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Slovak Philharmonic, Philharmonie Sudwestfalen, National Radio Orchestra Romania, Moscow Radio State Orchestra, Athens Orchestra of Colours, PKF – Prague Philharmonia, and many more.

Tomáš Brauner began his opera conducting career at the J.K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň. He made his debut at the Prague State Opera in 2008 with a performance of Verdi’s Othello. In the National Theatre in Prague, he conducts Verdi’s La Traviata. He conducted Janáček’s Jenůfa at the prestigious Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. In 2019, he premiered new productions at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava with Hoffman’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann.

Tomáš Brauner also receives regular invitations to perform at major international festivals such as Prague Spring, Bad Kissingen, and the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch Partenkirchen. His recording of the complete cello works by Bohuslav Martinů for the Dabringhaus und Grimm label won Classic Prague Awards 2017. He has recorded Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances with the Prague Symphony Orchestra and Rachmaninoff’s complete piano concertos with Lukáš Vondráček. Tomáš Brauner was born in Prague in 1978. After graduating in conducting from the Prague Academy of Performing Arts in 2005, he undertook a study attachment at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. Five years later, he was a prize winner at the Dimitris Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in Athens.

source: FOK

The Prague Philharmonic Choir

The Prague Philharmonic Choir was founded in 1935 by choirmaster and teacher Jan Kühn. Entering its 90th season, it is the oldest Czech professional choir. However, the choir has garnered international acclaim as a prominent ensemble as well. Recently, it has received particular recognition for its interpretation of its oratorio and cantata repertoire. Since 2007, the choir has been led by principal choirmaster and artistic director Lukáš Vasilek. Lukáš Kozubík serves as the second choirmaster.

Under the direction of Lukáš Vasilek, the choir has established itself as a highly respected partner of major orchestras. On the domestic scene, it has long collaborated primarily with the Czech Philharmonic and, in choral concerts, with the PKF – Prague Philharmonia. Internationally, its musical partners include the Berlin and Essen Philharmonics, the Vienna Symphony, the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Prague Philharmonic Choir has gained valuable experience from its work with distinguished conductors, which recently has included Semyon Bychkov, Jakub Hrůša, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Harding, Zubin Mehta, and Christoph Eschenbach. It also regularly participates in renowned music festivals such as Smetana’s Litomyšl, Prague Spring, Dvořák Prague and Prague Sounds. In recent years, the choir has played an active role on the international stage, serving as the resident choir for the Bregenzer Festspiele opera festival.

This season, the choir will be presenting three exclusive choral concerts. They were curated with a main focus on demanding and lesser-known choral pieces, such as a cappella or with instrumental accompaniment. Traditionally, it performs at concerts organised by Prague-based orchestras, but has been known to also visit other venues such as Ostrava. Internationally, the choir has performed in cities such as Dresden, Baden-Baden, Hamburg, and Bregenz.

In addition to its regular concert activities, the Prague Philharmonic Choir is engaged in educational projects. For young audiences, it has prepared a series of educational concerts specifically tailored for both schools and families with children. Their programme places strong emphasis on ensuring an enjoyable and actively engaging experience for children. Organised for voice students, the Prague Philharmonic Choir Academy offers a unique platform for young singers to engage in professional ensemble performances, participate in major musical projects, and gain experience working with leading artists.

The choir’s vocal qualities are evidenced, among other things, by its rich archive of recordings, which continues to grow with each season. The discography includes albums released by various record labels such as Pentatone, Decca Classics, Sony Classical, and Supraphon. The Prague Philharmonic Choir has also garnered recognition for its recording activities, receiving awards from the British Gramophone magazine and BBC Music Magazine, as well as the prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’Annèe award. The first gramophone recording, conducted by Václav Talich in 1952, featured Dvořák’s oratorio Stabat Mater; the most recent CDs, released in 2023, includes Mahler’s Symphony No.2 with the Czech Philharmonic and Semyon Bychkov and the choir’s own album entitled Stravinsky, Janáček, Bartók: Village Stories.

The Prague Philharmonic Choir received the 2018 Classic Prague Award for Best Vocal Concert, the Czech Television Classics of the Year Award, and in 2022 the Antonín Dvořák Award for outstanding artistic merit, promotion, and popularisation of Czech music.

source: Prague Philharmonic Choir

Lukáš Kozubík

Lukáš Kozubík is the choirmaster of the Prague Philharmonic Choir and chief choirmaster of the National Theatre Choir in Prague. As a guest artist, he has collaborated with leading orchestras in several Czech and Slovak opera houses.

With the Prague Philharmonic Choir, he has performed works by Antonín Dvořák, Francis Poulenc, Alexander Scriabin, and Richard Wagner. Smetana’s Litomyšl was captivated by his performance of Carmina Burana, and for the Swiss St. Galler Festspiele, he and his choir prepared Schmidt’s opera Notre Dame. His warm and engaging style goes beyond classical concerts as he actively engages in educational projects and is working on developing a new series of family concerts.

He earned his choral conducting degree from the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno under the guidance of Lubomír Mátl. He also studied opera singing at the Janáček Conservatory and the Institute for Art Studies at the University of Ostrava. During his studies, he began to collaborate with a number of concert choirs, such as the Mátl Academic Choir, the Lumír Brno Choir, Musica Conspirata Brno, Ansámbl Forte, and Chorus Ostrava. Kozubík’s multifaceted artistic activities led him to the positions of assistant conductor, choirmaster, and accompanist at the JAMU Chamber Opera. He has served on the jury of several choral competitions. His extensive experience includes dozens of opera productions, which he has prepared not only for domestic stages, but also for festivals in Hungary, Poland, and Germany. He also performs cantata and oratorio works.

During his prolonged work period in Slovakia, he gravitated particularly towards opera. From 2012–2021, Lukáš Kozubík was the choirmaster of the State Theatre Opera in Košice. There, he also founded and artistically directed the SD Košice Children’s Opera Studio. As a teacher at the local conservatory, he founded an opera studio and a school choir. He regularly collaborated with the State Philharmonic Košice, the State Chamber Orchestra Žilina, and the Musica Iuvenalis Chamber String Orchestra.

source: Prague Philharmonic Choir

Czech Radio Children’s Choir

The history of the Czech Radio Children’s Choir stretches back to the beginning of the 1930s, when the director and singer Jan Kühn established a group of children from Prague schools to perform during educational broadcasts. The composer and erstwhile educational broadcast editor, Karel Hába, established the facilities for the new choir in 1945 and Bohumil Kulínský, previously the choirmaster for the successful Hrabůvka Singers, subsequently took over from him and remained there for almost three decades.

Kulínský’s choir performed for radio broadcasts, recorded and broadcast a repertoire ranging from light children’s songs through to serious works by Czech and international composers. Bohumil Kulínský performed new works by Hurník, Hanuš, Eben, Lukáš, Mácha and other composers, many of which were written precisely for the radio choir.

For example, he was instrumental in securing the performance of the Czechoslovak premiere of Britten’s famous Ceremony of Carols[AL1] in collaboration with the erstwhile musical director and composer Viktor Kalabis. The choir’s activities, as broadcast on the airwaves, became a yardstick and significantly influenced the artistic level of other children's ensembles.

After Kulínský’s departure in 1973, Čestmír Stašek later formed a new radio choir. He applied his many years of experience as the choirmaster for the Prague Children’s Choir and developed the choir’s extensive concert activities both at home and abroad. The many awards from international competitions point to the choir’s artistic level. In 1990-91, the choir was also led by the choirmaster Luboš Krtička, a graduate of the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

The choir was led by Blanka Kulínská from 1992 and Věra Hrdinková has been the chief choir mistress since January 2016.

The children who have passed through the choir throughout its sixty-seven year history always take away long-lasting life experiences and a good relationship with artistic values. Many of them have grown into personalities in the areas of music, art and culture.

By way of examples, we can mention the harpist Jana Boušková, the writer Zdena Škvorecká-Salivarová, the actress Marta Vančurová, the singers Jana Koubková and Jiří Korn, the composers Petr Malásek and Jaroslava Uhlíř or the former president Václav Klaus.

The former members of the Czech Radio Children’s Choir are Jana Boušková, Lenka Dusilová, Radka Fišarová, Jana Kratochvílová, Jana Koubková, Eva Kubátová, Zdenka Lorencová, Jana Mařasová, Jana Nováková, Zuzana Stirská, Zdenka Škvorecká - Salivarová, Marta Vančurová, Monika Vejvodová, Zuzana Vejvodová, Jan Čenský, Petr Janda, David Koller, Jiří Korn, Martin Kumžák, Petr Malásek, Tomáš Trapl, Jaroslav Uhlíř and others.

source: Czech Radio

Věra Hrdinková

Choirmaster Věra Hrdinková draws on her long-standing collaboration with the Bambini di Praga choir, where she worked for 27 years, first as a soloist and choir member, and later for 15 years as a teacher and choirmaster. She has performed with the choir throughout Europe, Japan, and America. As a choirmaster, she has led children on concert tours to New York, Italy, France, and Germany. She has participated in the recording of 15 CDs. As a language consultant, she has worked with soloists of the National Theatre in the staging of the operas The Bartered Bride and Dalibor. In 2007, she founded the chamber women's choir Carmina Bohemica. Currently she is the artistic director and choirmaster of the Children's Choir of Czech Radio.

source: Věra Hrdinková

Roberto Saccà

For over two decades the German-Italian tenor Roberto Saccà has been singing on the stages of the world’s major opera houses, working under the baton of Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christopher Hogwood, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Ingo Metzmacher, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Georges Prêtre, Christian Thielemann and Franz Welser-Möst, to name but a few.

In the season 2019/20 he returned to La Scala in Milan for his role debut of Herodes/Salome (Riccardo Chailly conducting), in 2020/21 he made his debut as Paul in Die tote Stadt at La Monnaie (Brussels). In the same season he was engaged for a new production of Thaïs /Nicias (director: Peter Konwitschny) at the Theater an der Wien.

Previous seasons’ engagements comprise his role debut as Otello at Frankfurt’s Opera House and his role debut as Aegisth/Elektra at La Scala in Milan, Bacchus/Ariadne auf Naxos at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Florestan/Fidelio in Sevilla, Lohengrin and Kaiser/ Die Frau ohne Schatten (new production) in Hamburg, Eleazar/La Juive at Strasbourg Opera, Bacchus at the Berlin State Opera as well as several Gala concerts and performances. At the Bayreuth Festival he sang again Loge in Das Rheingold where he made his house and role debut in 2016.

Beside his opera engagements Roberto Saccà is a sought-after concert singer.

source: Hilbert Artists Management GmbH

Vida Miknevičiūtė

Lithuanian soprano Vida Miknevičiūtė will make her role debut in the current 2023/24 season as the Countess in Richard Strauss' Capriccio at Victorian Opera Melbourne under the baton of Simone Young. She can also be seen as Lisa (Pique Dame) at the Semperoper Dresden, Jenůfa, Chrysothemis (Elektra) and Elsa (Lohengrin) at the Staatsoper unter den Linden, Senta (Der fliegende Holländer) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Chrysothemis at the Munich Opera Festival. She will make her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in the New Year's Eve concerts as Sieglinde (Die Walküre) under the baton of Kirill Petrenko and will also sing this role in the Ring at the Staatsoper unter den Linden as well as at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.

In the 2022/23 season she made her role debut as Sieglinde in Dmitri Tcherniakov's new production of the Ring at the Staatsoper unter den Linden and sang this role as well at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. She also made her acclaimed debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan as Salome and debuted as well with this role at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In addition, she was once again a guest at the Bavarian State Opera (Chrysothemis, Giuditta, Salome), made her debut at the Semperoper Dresden as Lisa in the new production of Pique Dame and, in addition to Sieglinde, also appeared as Jenůfa and Senta at the Berlin State Opera. With the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, she made her role debut as Brünnhilde in a concert performance of Richard Wagner's Siegfried.

Vida Miknevičiūtė made her highly acclaimed debut at the 2021 Salzburg Festival as Chrysothemis (Elektra) under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst. In the 2021/22 season, she made her successful house debut at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich as Giuditta in the new production of Lehár's operetta of the same name, returned to the Vienna State Opera as Marietta (Die Tote Stadt), to the Hamburg State Opera as Chrysothemis, and to the Berlin State Opera as Elsa and Chrysothemis. She also made her debut at the Bolshoi in Moscow as Salome in October 2021 and sang this role in Christoph Loy's new production at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki.

In the 2019/20 season she made her role debut as Elsa in Calixto Bieto's new production of Lohengrin at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, where she made her brilliant debut as Chrysothemis under the baton of Daniel Barenboim in the 2018/19 season and returned in the 2019/20 season as Helmwige (Die Walküre). At the Victorian Opera in Melbourne she made her critically and publicly acclaimed debut as Salome and won the Green Room Award as Best Leading Singer for her outstanding interpretation of this role. She subsequently also made her debut as Salome at the Vienna State Opera. Further guest engagements took her as the Empress (Die Frau ohne Schatten), Chrysothemis, Maddalena di Coigny (Andrea Chénier) and Elettra (Idomeneo) to the Staatstheater Kassel, as Natalie Princess of Orange (Der Prinz von Homburg) to the Stuttgart State Opera, to Frankfurt Opera as Sylva Varescú (Die Csárdásfürstin) and to the Leipzig Opera as Irene (Rienzi). At the Latvian National Opera in Riga she made her debut as Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) and was heard there as well as Marguerite (Faust), Senta and Lisa as well as Senta at the State Theater in Wiesbaden.

Between 2011 and 2020, Vida Miknevičiūtė was a member of the ensemble of the Staatstheater Mainz, where she sang Elettra (Idomeneo), Princess Natalie of Orange (Der Prinz von Homburg), Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Margherita (Mefistofele), Violetta Valéry (La traviata), Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Marguerite (Faust), Blanche (Dialogues des Carmélites), Mimì (La bohème), Ursula (Mathis der Maler), Elisabeth (Don Carlo), Sieglinde in R. Wagner/Loriot (The Ring in One Evening) and Maria Boccanegra (Simon Boccanegra) and others.

Vida Miknevičiūtė received important musical influences and worked with renowned conductors such as Simone Young, Daniel Barenboim, Adam Fischer, Valery Gergiev, Alexander Joel, Eun Sun Kim, Franz Welser-Möst, Peter Schneider, Kent Nagano, Gintaras Rinkevicius and Hermann Bäumer. To date, Vida Mikneviciute has appeared in productions by directors such as Lorenzo Fioroni, Katharina Thalbach, Johannes Schütz, Tilman Knabe, Harry Kupfer, Christof Nel, Christoph Loy, Tom Ryser and Vera Nemirova.

Concert appearances have taken the singer to the Tonhalle Zurich, the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, the Mikkeli Music Festival, the Teatro di San Carlo Napoli, the Bratislava Festival, the L'Auditori de Barcelona and the Auditorio Nacional Madrid as well as to her native Lithuania. She has performed the soprano parts of Mozart's Requiem and Coronation Mass, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Mahler's 4th Symphony, Dvořák's Stabat Mater, Orff's Carmina Burana and Verdi's Requiem.

After attending a music high school, she did her master's degree in singing at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in Kaunas. An Erasmus scholarship took the young soprano to the Leipzig University of Music "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" in 2003. Between 2005 and 2007, Vida Miknevičiūtė was a member of the International Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera House. At the same time, she received guest contracts with the Festival Aix-en-Provence and the Theater Basel. From 2008 to 2010, the soprano was engaged at the International Opera Studio of the Hamburg State Opera, where her roles included Hébé and Phani (Les Indes galantes), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel), Micaëla (Carmen), Wellgunde and Freia (Rheingold) and Helmwige (Walküre). She was guest as well as Freia (Rheingold) with the Hamburg State Opera in Brisbane, Australia, under the baton of Simone Young.

The singer has successfully participated in various competitions. Among others, she is the winner of the 1st Prize and 1st Audience Prize of the Robert Stolz Singing Competition "Viennese Operetta" in Hamburg and other competitions in Lithuania and Russia. She is also a fellow of the Barenberg-Bank scholarship for artistic development in Hamburg, and of the Concorso Riccardo Zandonai in Riva del Garda.

source: Hilbert Artists Management GmbH

Jiří Brückler

At the Prague Conservatory, he pursued his studies in singing under the guidance of Jiří Kotouč. From 2008 onwards, he furthered his education at HAMU in Prague, studying under Roman Janál. He won the Junior category of the International Antonín Dvořák Singing Competition held in Karlovy Vary.

Since 2004, he has been performing as a guest at the Prague State Opera in Dvořák’s Rusalka and Puccini’s Turandot, and since the 2010/2011 season, also in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Bizet’s Carmen. At the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec, he has played Silvio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Morales in Bizet’s Carmen. His portrayal of Silvio earned him a great acclaim and a nomination for the 2009 Thalia Award.

In the summers of 2011 and 2012, he reprised the same role alongside José Cura as Canio for IMF Český Krumlov. In the 2011/2012 season, he was cast at the Prague State Opera, and since 2012, he has been a soloist at the National Theatre Opera and the State Opera. There, he has performed roles such as Rodrigo in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Figaro in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Dandini in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Don Giovanni in the opera Don Giovanni and Count Almaviva in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, the title role in Weinberger’s opera Schwanda the Bagpiper, Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème, Silvio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Ping in Puccini’s Turandot, Adolfo 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.

Jiří 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 frequent 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, Marcello in La bohème, Ping in Puccini’s Turandot, Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido, and Aeneas and Moralès in Bizet’s Carmen), as well as on other Czech stages. In August 2018, he received the Director of the National Theatre Award for Artists under 35.

He has collaborated with various leading conductors including Petr Altrichter, Semyon Bychkov, Oliver Dohnányi, Plácido Domingo, Iván Fischer, John Fiore, Jakub Hrůša, Robert Jindra, Dirk Kaftan, Jaroslav Kyzlink, Libor Pešek, Lukáš Vasilek, and many others.

He cooperates with the Bulgarian National Opera in Sofia, the Prague Spring and Dvořák Prague festivals, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the FOK, SOČR, PKF Prague Philharmonia, the Brno Philharmonic, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic, the Prague Philharmonic Choir, and the Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno.

In the past season, he performed the title roles in Bedřich Smetana’s operas, such as Přemysl in Libuše, Vok in The Devil’s Wall, and Tomeš in The Kiss.

In March 2024, he performed in the opera Rusalka (the roles of Hunter and Gamekeeper) at Opera de Tenerife on the largest of the Canary Islands.

In the 2024/2025 season, he is looking forward to new productions of the operas Manon Lescaut (G. Puccini) at the National Theatre Brno, Faust (Ch. Gounod) at the National Theatre in Prague, and a recording of a CD entitled Epilogue (J. Suk) with the Czech Philharmonic under the direction of conductor Jakub Hrůša.

source: Jiří Brückler

Lucie Hilscherová

Mezzo-soprano Lucie Hilscherová has performed as a guest singer at various venues, including the National Theatre in Prague, the National Maravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava, the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen, the State Theatre in Košice, and the Nationaltheater Mannheim. In addition, she portrayed the role of Háta in The Bartered Bride for audiences in Tokyo (2010, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Suntory Hall, directed by Leoš Svárovský) and in London (2011, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Hall, directed by Jiří Bělohlávek).

She is highly sought-after as a concert singer performing song and oratorio pieces, and she also enjoys interpreting works by contemporary composers. Her broad repertoire includes Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Mahler’s Second Symphony, Third Symphony, and Song of the Earth, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater and Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, and Stravinsky’s Les Noces.

She has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR, Czech Philharmonic, PKF-Prague Philharmonia, Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK, Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, Collegio 1704, and Brno Philharmonic.

She has been privileged to sing under the direction of Jiří Bělohlávek, Semyon Bychkov, Cornelius Meister, Tomáš Netopil, Kazushi Ono, Libor Pešek, David Porcelijn, Helmuth Rilling, Dennis Russell Davies, Leoš Svárovský, Alexander Vedernikov, Petr Vronský, among others.

She has performed at festivals such as the Edinburgh International Festival, Musikfest Stuttgart, Beethovenfest Bonn, Grafenegg Musik-Sommer, Prague Spring, Dvořák Prague, Prague Sounds, Easter Festival of Sacred Music in Brno, Smetana’s Litomyšl, St. Wenceslas Music Festival, Peter Dvorský International Music Festival in Jaroměřice, and others.

source: Lucie Hilscherová

Lenka Máčiková

Lenka Máčiková is a highly acclaimed Slovak soprano. While still a student at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, she won multiple main and individual awards at competitions both in Slovakia and abroad (in the Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden, and France).

She has collaborated with legends of world opera, and in 2019 she performed a joint concert with José Carreras at the O2 Arena in Prague, and with Ramon Vargas in Smetana Hall of the Municipal House in Prague. At the prestigious Glyndebourne Festival in England, she performed the role of Zerlina in Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni in 2014.

In Slovakia, she has twice won the Literary Fund Prize. Her portrayal of Mirinda in the international production of Vivaldi’s opera Arsilda (where she was the only Slovak artist) contributed to winning the “Dosky” award for the best production of the season.

She made her debut at the Slovak National Theatre as a student and currently performs roles such as Micaela (Carmen, G. Bizet), Mařenka (The Bartered Bride, B. Smetana), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni, W. A. Mozart), First wood sprite (Rusalka, A. Dvořák), and Júlia (A Tale of a Happy End, P. Zagar). With the Bratislava-based Slovak Philharmonic, she has performed in concerts featuring works by Mozart, Mahler, Franck, and Rossini. Every year, she collaborates on selected projects with Musica Aeterna Bratislava, which specialises in works from the Baroque period.

She made her debut at the National Theatre in Prague in 2014 in the lead role of Sharp-Ears the Vixen in Leoš Janáček’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen directed by Ondřej Havelka. During their long-term cooperation, she has portrayed several characters in productions of Mozart’s operas such as Pamina (Die Zauberflote), Despina (Cosi fan tutte), and Zerlina (Don Giovanni), as well as the role of Penelope in the opera Enchantia directed by the Forman brothers. Most recently, she has also performed the role of Najada (Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos). At the Baroque Theatre in Český Krumlov, she played the title role of the Greek woman Clarice in a historically authentic adaptation of Giuseppe Scarlatti’s opera Dove è amore è gelosia. The uniqueness of this adaptation prompted the release of the production on DVD.

In addition, she has excelled as a guest performer on various European stages in Italy (Rome, Como, Brescia, Pavia, Cremona), France (Paris, Versailles, Nancy, Angers, Nantes, Lille, Caen), Mannheim (DE), Warsaw (PL), Stockholm (SE), and Sarajevo (BA). She has gained extensive international experience during successful concerts in Qatar, Bangkok (TH), and a tour of Japan.

source: Lenka Máčiková

Michaela Zajmi


Mezzosoprano Michaela Zajmi, a soloist at the National Theatre in Prague, was born in Brno and studied at the Prague Conservatoire in the class of Yvona Škvárová.

During and after her studies she won prizes in several singing competitions. She attained her greatest competition achievements in autumn 2009 at the 44th International Antonin Dvorak Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary, where she won third place in both the women’s opera and song categories. She was also recognised by the Antonín Dvořák Society for the best performance of Dvořák’s song “Give a hawk a cage”, and received a special prize from the J.K.Tyl Theatre in Pilsen.

Michaela Zajmi is also a laureate of the Leoš Janáček’s Prize International Singing Competition (EMCY) and won first place in both the Singing Competition of the Music Conservatoires in the Czech Republic in Pardubice, and in the “Pražský pěvec” (Prague Singer) International Singing Competition.

While still a student she participated in masterclasses led by Peter Dvorský in Jaroměřice nad Rokytou and was selected to sing at a series of concerts organised by the Musical Theatre Society for the best participants of the Young Singers’ Market.

In 2010, she was nominated for the Thalia Prize for her exceptional stage performance as Angelina in Rossini’s opera La Cenerentola at the Brno National Theatre.

In her theatre debut she was cast as Rosina (The Barber of Seville) at the J.K.Tyl Theatre in Pilsen. Since then, she has performed other roles with the National Theatre in Brno, National Theatre in Prague, South Bohemian Theatre in České Budějovice and Ostrava theatre.

At the National Theatre in Prague she sings mezzosoprano roles.

Michaela Zajmi has also given numerous concert performances with the PKF – Prague Philharmonia, Pilsen Philharmonic, South Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic and Talich Chamber Orchestra.

She appeared in the grand opening concert celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Prague Conservatoire in the Rudolfinum and in the closing concert of the 50th annual Karlovy Vary Dvořák’s Autumn Festival.

Her concert tour through Italy also met with great success. She also toured with the Glyndebourne opera house’s production of Dvořák’s opera Rusalka in England.

She is a regular guest performer in Japan with the Prague National Theatre Opera and has performed with the Budapest Festival Orchestra during a European tour.

In 2016, she sang the role of the Fox in Janáček’s opera The Little Cunning Vixen at the Teatro Regio di Torino, Italy. In the same year she participated in masterclasses led by Brigitte Fassbaendar. In 2018, she sang in the role of Page Herodias in Strauss’ opera Salome at the Teatro Regio di Torino.

source: Michaela Zajmi

Daniel Matoušek

Daniel Matoušek comes from Ústí nad Labem. Initially, he honed his singing technique with Jan Vacík, Antonio Carangelo, Eva Randová, and Jarmila Chaloupková. He is currently studying with Kateřina Kněžíková and Adam Plachetka.

In 2014, he made his first appearance at the National Theatre in Prague in The Cunning Little Vixen, and since the 2022/23 season, he has been a permanent member of the Opera. At the National Theatre and all of its three stages, i.e. in the National Theatre, and the Estates Theatre, he made his debut in the 2023/24 season as Rinuccio in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and in Jan Kučera's new opera Don Buoso (directed by David Radok), Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos (directed by Sláva Daubnerová), Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (directed by Vladimír Morávek), The Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier (directed by Andreas Homoki) ), and Malcolm in Verdi's Macbeth, and in addition he plays important roles of the tenor repertoire, such as Beppe in The Comedians (directed by Ondřej Havelka) and Mustafa Bej in the jazz operetta Ball at the Savoy Hotel (directed by Martin Čičvák), among others.

During his professional career, he has been a guest at all Czech opera houses (National Theatre Brno, National Moravian-Silesian Theatre, Moravian Theatre Olomouc – nominated for the 2019 Thalia Award, DJKT Plzeň, the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec, the South Bohemian Theatre, and the North Bohemian Theatre in Ústí nad Labem).

Besides the Czech opera stages, he has been a guest at the Opernhaus Magdeburg as Tamino and has appeared at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava (Maria Stuarda, Persian Nights) and the National Theatre Košice (Magic Flute).

He participated in the iSING Festival in China, where he was selected from among 2500 singers from all over the world and worked on two performances, six concerts and two television broadcasts. In the 2021/22 season, he participated in the filming of the upcoming 2023 film The Crow, a Hollywood production directed by Rupert Sanders (the film is being prepared for release at Cannes 2024).

He has performed under the baton of various conductors including Robert Jindra, Christopher Ward, Kamal Khan, Andriy Yurkevych, Vincenzo Milletari, Jiří Rožeň, Leoš Svárovský, Ondrej Lenárd, Jan Kučera, Adi Bara, Marko Ivanović, Miriam Němcová, Ondrej Olos, David Švec, Marek Šedivý, and others.

He has played with leading orchestral ensembles such as the Prague Philharmonic, the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Brno Philharmonic, the Teplice North Bohemian Philharmonic, the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic, the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, the RTVS Symphony Orchestra, the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, the Beijing Opera Orchestra, the Wiesbaden Festival Orchestra, and has performed at several music festivals such as the Český Krumlov Festival, Smetana's Litomyšl, Janáček Festival in Brno, Špilberk Festival, Wiesbaden Opera Europa Festival (DE), Cornuda Belcanto Festival (IT), and others.

During his professional career, he has worked with a wide range of directors such as Ondřej Havelka, Václav Morávek, Andreas Homoki, Robert Carsen, David Radok, Miroslav Krobot, Barbora Horáková Joly, Jetske Mijnssen, and others.

He has performed with such renowned singers as Dagmar Pecková, Kateřina Kněžíková, Adam Plachetka, Hao Jiang Tian, Damiano Salerno, José Luis Maldonado, Luis Cansino, Atalan Aya, Konu Kim, and others.

Martin Šrejma

Tenor Martin Šrejma graduated from the Prague Conservatory under the guidance of Prof. J. Kotouč. During his studies, he was a laureate of the International Antonín Dvořák Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary in 2002 and 2004, and he won the Prague National Theatre Award in 2004. In 2004, he studied in Parma, Italy at the Arrigo Boito Conservatory under L. Bizzi and E. Furlotti. Additionally, he took part in master classes in Italy, with M. Freni in the summer of 2009 and with T. Krause in 2011.

In 2005, he became a soloist at the Prague State Opera, and he has been a soloist at the National Theatre Opera in Prague since 2012. On Prague stages, he has portrayed a diverse range of roles, including Mozart’s Tamino (The Magic Flute), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and Basilio (The Marriage of Figaro), Rossini’s Almaviva (The Friar of Seville) and Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola), Verdi’s Duke (Rigoletto), Cassio (Otello), Dr. Cajus (Falstaff), Macduff (Macbeth), Ismael (Nabucco) and Alfredo (La traviata), Wagner’s Steersman (The Flying Dutchman) and Walther von der Vogelweide (Tannhäuser), Puccini’s Edmondo (Manon Lescaut) and Pong (Turandot), Edgardo (Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor), Smetana’s Jeník (The Bartered Bride), Toník (The Two Widows) and Vítek (Dalibor), Dvořák’s Jirka (The Devil and Kate) and Jiří (The Jacobin), Essex (Britten: Gloriana), The Gingerbread Witch (Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel), Romeo (Gounod: Romeo and Juliet), Mazal, Blankytný, Petřík (Janáček: The Excursions of Mr. Brouček), Prince (Prokofiev: The Love for Three Oranges), Babinský (Weinberger: Schwanda the Bagpiper), and also Su-Chong (Lehár: The Land of Smiles), among others.

He also performs as a guest at the National Theatre Brno as Camille (Lehar: The Merry Widow) and Jiří (Dvořák: The Jacobin), at the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava as Lindoro (Rossini: The Italian Girl in Algiers) and Count d'Albafiorita (Martinů: Mirandolina), The Prince (Dvořák: Rusalka), Živný (Janáček: Destiny), for which he won the main prize at the Opera 2020 festival, Cavaradossi (Pucccini: Tosca), and in Smetana’s operas where he sings Jeník (The Bartered Bride), Ladislav (The Two Widows), Lukáš (The Kiss), Jarek (The Devil’s Wall), etc. Martin has performed at the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec as Nemorino (Donizetti: The Elixir of Love) and Ladislav (Smetana: Two Widows), as well as at the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen and at the Revolving Auditorium in Český Krumlov as the Duke (Rigoletto).

In the 2003/2004 season, he toured Germany and Switzerland as Alfred in Strauss’s operetta Die Fledermaus. In spring 2005, he toured Canada with the Toronto Philharmonic under K. Stratton. In 2006, he performed as Pollione (Bellini: Norma) in Spain. In 2009, he portrayed Jeník (The Bartered Bride) in the Netherlands, while in 2011 he performed the role of Michelis (Martinů: The Greek Passion) at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. 2016 saw him take on the role of Števa (Janáček: Jenůfa) at the same theatre. In 2021, he appeared in Puccini’s Tosca as Cavaradossi in Rijeka, Croatia, and in 2022, he made his debut as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen in Maribor, Slovenia. During tours of the Prague State Opera and the National Theatre in Japan, he appeared as Alfredo (2007, 2015) and Spoletta (2011), Tamino and Basilio (2013). He is often invited to perform in cantatas, oratorios, and operas (Händel: Samson and Messiah; Bononcini: Astarto; Mozart: Requiem and Davide penitente; Haydn: Die Schöpfung, Bach: Christmas Oratorio, Dvořák: The Spectre’s Bride, Stabat Mater (Auditorium in Milan 2016), Mendelssohn: Lobgesang at the 2012 Prague Spring Festival, and he regularly sings Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Ode to Joy and Orff’s Carmina Burana, most recently performing in Smetana Hall of the Municipal House with the FOK, among others). In spring 2023, he sang in the Czech premiere of Lera Auerbach’s Symphony No. 6 with the SOČR. He collaborates with most of the top Czech orchestras.

source: Martin Šrejma


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.