Leoš Janáček: The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon

Leoš Janáček The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon
The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon

Leoš Janáček: The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon

Year of composition:
1908-1920
Subtitle:
Opera in 2 acts and 1 epilogue
Composer:
Leoš Janáček
Editor:
Jirí Zahrádka (2002)
Original language:
Czech
Translator:
Norman Tucker (23.07.1973); Ute Becker (04.08.2003); Alena Wagnerová (04.08.2003); Robert Brock (16.01.1963); John Tyrrell (04.08.2003)
Roles:
Broucek, tenor Blankytný, tenor Lunobor, bass-baritone Etherea, soprano Caroskvoucí, bass Child Prodigy, soprano Harfoboj, tenor Duhoslav, tenor Oblacný, baritone Poet, tenor Another Poet, tenor
Choir:
Künstler, TTTBBB Musiker, TTBB Ethereas Gefährtinnen, SSAA
Instrumentation:
4 3 3 3 - 4 4 4 1 - timp, perc, hp, cel, str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute (+3rd picc)
3rd flute (+2nd picc)
4th flute (+1st picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
cor anglais
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
bass clarinet in Bb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
contrabassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in F
2nd trumpet in F
3rd trumpet in F
4th trumpet in F
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
4th trombone
tuba
timpani
percussion (1 player:glockenspiel, bells,xylophone, triangle,cymbals, tam-tam)
celesta (+glass harmonica)
harp
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
contrabass
Duration:
70’
More Less

Audiosamples

The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon
00:00

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

The Excursion of Mr. Brouček is a very complicated and difficult piece. It’s a wonderful piece I think. But again, it’s a very complicated idea, because it’s a double satire. Through Brouček the effeminate, artistic world, set on the moon, is satirized and on earth the ridiculously dogmatic, fanatical world of the Medieval religious fundamentalists is satirized, but at the same time Brouček himself is satirized as a contemporary petty bourgeois philistine, so it’s a double satire. Usually in a satire you have an Everyman figure through whom you see that the world is absurd. But in this piece you see the world as absurd, but you see that the central figure is absurd as well. So there is no centre.

David Pountney



The Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Moon
and The Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the 15th Century doubtlessly occupy a special position within the composer’s operatic oeuvre. After all, they seem to completely contradict the fundamentally serious and dramatic character of his other operas. With its intense comedy, garnished with unmistakably satirical elements, one could almost characterise The Excursions of Mr. Brouček as being atypical of Janáček’s production. Yet here as well, his extremely expressive, text-orientated and, above all, original compositional style, which made him one of the 20th century’s most important composers, is unmistakably present. On the occasion of the German première in 1959, the Viennese music critic and cultural journalist Karl Löbl asked, How has this delectable music managed to remain hidden from us for so long?

The opera is set in Prague in the year 1888. Verger’s daughter Málinka accuses the painter Mazal of dancing with another woman, and she announces defiantly that she is now going to marry the landlord Brouček. Annoyed by all the little troubles of everyday life, however, Brouček yearns to travel to the moon – far away from insolvent tenants, irksome taxes and unbearable scandals in the press. With his mind clouded by alcohol, Brouček embarks on an excursion to the distant planet in a dream and is astonished that the world up there is entirely different to how he imagined it to be. Instead of being free of his worries, he meets numerous oversensitive aesthetes who dedicate their lives to painting, poetry and music. Finally he escapes and is found near a pub in a drunken stupor while Mazal and Málinka declare their love for one another.

Special prints

The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon

Leoš Janáček: The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon

study score
, 70’
Instr.: 4 3 3 3 - 4 4 4 1 - timp, perc, hp, cel, str

The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon

Leoš Janáček: The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon

piano reduction
, 70’
Instr.: 4 3 3 3 - 4 4 4 1 - timp, perc, hp, cel, str

Next performances

05 Dec

The Excursion of Mr. Broucek to the Moon

National Theatre , Prag (CZ)

World première

Location:
Nationaltheater Prag, Prag (CZ)
Date:
20.12.2003
Conductor:
Charles Mackerras

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