Giacomo Puccini

Conductor: Martin Doubravský
Director: Martin Otava
Scene: Ján Zavarský
Costumes: Dana Svobodová
Choirmaster: Martin Vesely
Assistant of the director: Jana Ottová
Dramaturgy: Vojtěch Havlik
Musical training: Maxim Biriucov, Tatiana Drybas

Performance length: 02:05
Premiere: 26. 2. 2010



Performance dates

A great dramatic opera in the original – for the first time in the Czech Republic.

Puccini was 26 years old when his first one-act opera Le Villi (in our country translated as Fairies, or Nymphs) had its successful premiere in Milan in 1883. Its introduction was, among others, initiated also by a well-known Verdi's librettist, Arrigo Boito. Another important personality ot the opera world of that time, a music publisher and a man of versatile interests, a journalist, painter and composer Giulio Ricordi, was also persuaded by the success of this work. It was just Ricordi, who recognized Puccini´s immense talent, and encouraged him to write another, this time a full-length opera. For this purpose, he also financially supported him so that the young composer could devote himself only to composing. As in the case of his first opera, Puccini cooperated with the librettist Ferdinand Fontana, who proposed the tale of Manon Lescaut to be set in music at first, but then they both turned their attention to the drama in verse by Alfred de Musset, La coupe et les lèvres. The tragic story of a love triangle is rather complicated, and in some moments seemingly without logical connections, but the young Puccini was offered a great opportunity by that to show fully his remarkable dramatic talent. Similarly as in Bizet's Carmen, we are witnesses of Edgar´s internal conflict of a young man who must decide between a pure, simple love of a girl from his native place, and a burning passion of an exotic beauty. The work originated during long three years in the period when the composer had to cope with the death of his mother, and a complicated relationship with a married Elvira Bonturi – who gave a birth to Puccini's son Antonio in 1896. The premiere of the tragic opera at La Scalla in Milan, which took place on Easter Sunday 21st April 1889, was accepted indifferently, and Puccini, even when he rearranged the work many times, didn´t succeed with this opera during his life. In the end, however, it was just music from Edgar, namely the choral march from the third act, which sounded under the baton of the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini at the funeral of Puccini. Even when people became more interested in this opera recently (for example, it was given at the Teatro Regio in Turin in 2008, Jose Curra sang the title role), it is still one of the least played Puccini´s works. The spectators will have a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the first full-length opera of the genius composer, full of beautiful music and dramatic moments, the work that tightly preceeded a highly successful opera Manon Lescaut.


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