On the (Makropulos) Case

The Makropulos Case at Bavarian State Opera

The Makropulos Case at Bavarian State Opera

Because of a time difference miscalculation on my part, you now actually have 30 minutes before today’s livestream from Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany, begins!  Very easy, just head on over to BSO TV to see the full opera online!

Today’s opera is maybe sort of Halloween appropriate?  It is a noir opera after all…

The Makropolous Case by Leoš Janáček based on the play of the same name by fellow Czech, pioneering science fiction author Karel Čapek, was premiered in 1926 in Brno, Czech Republic.  It’s about a mysterious woman who seems to have been around much longer than she looks, and it’s ultimately revealed that she’s been keeping herself alive for centuries with a magic potion, one she needs to find the recipe for before her age catches up to her and she dies.  Verrry moody and mysterious…

This is a European production though, so fair warning, they will probably find a way to show lots of weird sex stuff…

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Cunning Little Opera

In my own end-of-semester flurry, I overlooked the end-of-semester operatic offerings from the music schools here in New York!  For example, the Juilliard School’s Opera program is ending the semester with an all-out production of Leoš Janáček‘s 1924 Czech opera The Cunning Little Vixen.  

The Juilliard School's Cunning Little Vixen

The Juilliard School’s Cunning Little Vixen

There are performances tomorrow and Thursday at 8pm, with $30 tickets, half-off for students in-person at the Juilliard box office.  This is bound to be a popular event, so if it sells out before you can get in, check out the Juilliard calendar for other end-of-semester performances (including lots of ticketless, free ones!).

The Cunning Little Vixen seems like a fun challenge for directors and designers; you don’t get too many chances in opera to direct singing animals.  It’s been performed before in New York at NYC Opera in a 1980s Maurice Sendak-designed production and more recently at the NY Philharmonic.  Somehow a video of the complete 1983 NYCO performance is up on YouTube, and since NYCO‘s Sendak production was lost in a fire, it’s an especially valuable resource.