Janáček’s hometown Brno honours Leoš Janáček for the fourth time with the Janáček Brno Festival. The festival runs from 21 until 29 November and celebrates the composer’s 160th birthday. Definitive highlights of the festival will be the world première of The Makropulos Case in Jiří Zahrádka’s critical new edition and the stagings of The Cunning Little Vixen, Jenůfa, and The Excursions of Mr Brouček. The Opera Europa Conference, taking place in Brno and Ostrava at the same time, has placed Janáček at the centre of the event.
Under the auspices of Universal Edition, Janáček’s original publisher, the critical new edition of The Makropulos Case incorporates all the surviving sources for the first time, realising Janáček’s intentions on a well-founded scholarly basis. The autograph full score was compared with three copies made under the composer’s supervision. In addition, the new edition includes valuable notes by the renowned Janáček conductor Sir Charles Mackerras on practical performance.
View the study score of Act 1:
The new critical edition will be fully available from the 2015/2016 season. Unlike the Bärenreiter edition published at about the same time, Universal Edition’s new edition has taken advantage of all available sources, including a duplicate of the full score by Janáček’s principal copyist Václav Sedláček. This manuscript, housed in Universal Edition’s archive, may well be considered the work’s most important primary source, since the composer had it sent to his publisher Universal Edition immediately after the first performances and resultant corrections as its complete and definitive version.
The festival is accompanied by an exhibition by the Moravian Museum that is dedicated to the 90th anniversary of The Cunning Little Vixen:
“One of the most performed operas of the 20th century was first presented on November 6, 1924 in Brno City Theatre in an excellent staging carried out by the artist Eduard Milén, director Ota Zítek and conductor František Neumann. The prepared exhibition will present this staging together with the genesis of the opera. On display will be period photographs and documents, copies of Milén’s costumes as well a model of the original stage, facsimile of Těsnohlídek’s manuscript of the novel, considered as lost for a long time, or illustrations by Stanislav Lolek that stood at the cradle of this music work.”
Find out more on the website of the Moravian Museum.
The Makropulos Case (critical new edition by Jiří Zahrádka)
The Cunning Little Vixen (reduced version by Jonathan Dove)
Jenůfa (Brno Version)
The Excursions of Mr Brouček (critical edition by Jiří Zahrádka)
The Cunning Little Vixen (revised version by Jiří Zahrádka)
opera in 3 acts | 110'
26.11.2014, Janáčkovo divadlo; Vixen Bystrouška, Alžběta Poláčková; Forester, Svatopluk Sem; Harašta, Jiří Brückler; National Theatre Choir; Kühn’s Children’s Choir; National Theatre Ballet; National Theatre Orchestra, cond. Robert Jindra
Jenůfa (Brünner Fassung)
opera in 3 acts | 120'
28.11.2014, Mahenovo divadlo; Croatian National Theatre, cond. Srboljub Dinić