This will happen for the first time in one year in the nearly eighty-year history of the show. Eight performances will be brought by opera houses from Prague, Brno, Ostrava and Bratislava, Libuš will be staged in concert by the Czech Philharmonic under the direction of Jakub Hrůš, who is the patron of the Smetana 200 project and also one of the ambassadors of the Year of Czech Music 2024. The role of Libuš will be performed by soprano Kateřina Kněžíková, Přemyslem will Adam Plachetka, festival spokesman Luděk Březina said in a press release.
In addition to Libuš, according to the organizers, Smetana’s other operas also deserve attention. Dalibora, a drama about the desire for revenge, love passion and political intrigue, will be staged by the Janáček Opera of the National Theater Brno in co-production with the Welsh National Opera under the baton of the conductor Tomáš Hanus and under the direction of the well-known British director David Pountney, who is a great admirer and promoter of Czech opera. The Brno ensemble will also bring The Bartered Bride in a new scenic adaptation by director Ondřej Havelka, who is also behind the new production of Smetana’s penultimate opera The Secret. It will be performed by the opera ensemble of the Prague National Theatre. The new staging of Hubička will be performed by the Opera of the National Theater Bratislava, which started with this title in 1920. Two Widows, Brandibori in Bohemia and The Devil’s Wall will be performed by the Moravian-Silesian National Theater in Ostrava, which next year will perform the entire ensemble of eight Smetana twice for the first time in 40 years opera
The organizers also published one of the other dramaturgical highlights of the show. It will be a gala concert by British-Italian tenor Freddie De Tommaso, who is considered a follower of Luciano Pavarotti and will be presented to listeners in the Czech Republic for the first time. He will sing arias and duets with soprano Anastasia Bartoli from the operas of Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Francesco Cilei, Georges Bizet and famous Italian songs. The festival will present the entire program of forty titles in February next year.
Due to the ongoing reconstruction of Litomyšl Castle, the main festival programs will have to be moved from the castle courtyard to the Festival Hall with a capacity of almost 1300 spectators. Just like this year, the multifunctional hall of architects Aleš Burian and Gustav Křivinka will serve this purpose. Its acoustics also suit classical music very well.
Smetanova Litomyšl will be held from June 8 to July 7. Today, the festival started selling ticket packages for opera performances on the website www.smetanovalitomysl.cz.