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Ostrava, Czech Rep (The Trial CZECH PREMIERE)
THE TRIAL – Jun 20, 2020
Premiere Jun 18, 2020, 6.30 PM – Antonín Dvořák Theatre
Chamber opera in two acts from 2014
Libretto by Christopher Hampton (1946) based on the novel of the same name by Franz Kafka (Der Prozess) from 1914
Musical direction Marko Ivanović
Conducted by Jiří Nekvasil
“We are not looking for guilt. The guilt will lead us. It is the law. – Oh, I see. It is all a joke. So funny.”
For more than four decades, Philip Glass has been one of the world’s most played contemporary composers, returning after decades of 20th century a broad audience base to contemporary music. In addition to instrumental compositions and operas his distinctive film music also cannot be overlooked. He is one of the key creators of a new musical style, which emerged as a great experiment in the late 1960s – repetitive minimalism. Glass’s The Trial reflects the complexity of Kafka’s famous prose by using the composer’s characteristic layered sequences with the smallest nuances of infinitely repeated musical blocks.
“Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested.” This is how Franz Kafka’s novel begins. The work, which has inspired many dramatists and filmmakers, was given another dimension in Philip Glass’s opera. The monotonous musical grip depicts the darkly claustrophobic inevitability of the fate of Joseph K. It also reveals the emotionally refined areas of the violent paranoid intensity or absurdity of the black humour of this “illogical and cramped dream foolishness” as Thomas Mann called Kafka’s Trial. The marching and dance rhythms, also reminiscent of the work of Kurt Weill, are all performed by 8 soloists and 12 orchestral players.
Performed in the English original with Czech and English subtitles.
Czech premiere on 18 June and the second premiere on 20 June 2020 at the Antonin Dvorak Theatre