The National Theatre

Mefistofeles

A Faustian tale in an evocative operatic setting with stunning choral scenes and a fascinating demonic bass title character. Mefistofele is the composer and poet Arrigo Boito’s one and only completed opera. It boasts mesmerising choral scenes, such as the Chorus Mysticus in the Prologue and the Witches' Sabbath in Act 2. What is more, the title role affords a great opportunity for basses, who since the early the 20th century have passed the baton, starting with the legendary Fyodor Chaliapin or the no less amazing Czech bass Vilém Zítek.

opera
thestateopera
mysterious
philosophical
classic
nationaltheatre

All dates

Saturday

3/2/2024


6:00 PM


Státní opera

Praha


490 - 1490 CZK

Description

ABOUT PERFORMANCE

State Opera Chorus
State Opera Orchestra
National Theatre Opera Ballet
Pueri gaudentes boys’ choir

Arrigo Boito stressed that a perfect opera could only accrue from a great and profound work of poetry. And such is Goethe’s Faust. Yet unlike the composers who had set the masterpiece to music previously, he did not limit himself to Part 1, but proceeded to Part 2 of Goethe’s drama, taking place at the imperial court and during Antiquity. Although he had to omit a number of important scenes and characters, the result was an opera lasting nearly five hours. The premiere on 5 March 1868 at La Scala in Milan was a flop, giving rise to one of the most tumultuous uproars in opera history. Boito presently got down to revising the piece and radically reduced the score. The new version, first performed at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna on 4 October 1875, was an instant success. Boito continued to make changes to the opera, until Mefistofele assumed its definitive form in 1881, when it triumphantly returned to La Scala. Mefistofele was his operatic debut and swan song alike. Boito worked on several other operas, including Nerone, yet failed to finish any of them. Nevertheless, during his lifetime Mefistofele was so hugely popular in Italy and beyond that it was enough to prompt the University of Cambridge to grant him an honorary doctorate in music.

Mefistofele was first performed in Prague in February 1881 at the Estates Theatre. The production was also taken up by the newly opened Neues deutsches Theater (now the State Opera), in 1888 and 1897. The National Theatre first presented Mefistofele on 9 December 1885, then in 1896 and, finally, 1936 and 1942, with the celebrated bass Vilém Zítek in the title role. The current Prague production, staged by the renowned drama and opera director Ivan Krejčí, premiered at the State Opera in 2015.

CAST AND CREATIVE

Conductor - Gabriel Feltz, Richard Hein
Mefistofele - Adam Palka
Faust - Kyungho Kim
Marguerite - Petra Alvarez Šimková
Martha - Jana Sýkorová
Wagner - Josef Moravec, Martin Šrejma
Elena - ​Victoria Khoroshunova

and more.

Show more
Length 190 minutes
Czech subtitles
German subtitles

Performance teaser

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