New production of Smetana’s Dalibor finds inspiration in IRA man Bobby Sands

Photo: National Theatre Brno

Photo: National Theatre Brno

This year marks 200 years since the birth of the great Czech composer Bedřich Smetana. To mark the anniversary, the National Theatre in Brno has prepared a new staging of his opera Dalibor. Its British director David Pountney found inspiration in Bobby Sands, a member of the IRA who died in a hunger strike in 1981.

Bedřich Smetana’s opera Dalibor is based on the medieval tale of the Knight Dalibor of Kozojedy, who learned to play the violin in prison. The drama about revenge, passion and political intrigue was first staged in 1868 on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone of Prague’s National Theatre.

The new, and very contemporary, production of Dalibor, premiered at the Janáček Theatre in Brno, earlier this month. I discussed it with its UK director, David Pountney:

“What’s interesting about the character of Dalibor is that he is on the one hand a murderer and somebody we would probably describe as a terrorist, but he is also clearly presented as a heroic figure. Not only is he violent but he also has one could say a deeply spiritual connection to music. So it’s a very unusual combination of features.

See the rest here.

Author: Ruth Fraňková