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Slovak Sinfonietta / Štátny komorný orchester Žilina
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Opera Haydn dines with Mozart


Thursday, October 20, 2016, 0700 p.m.
Season ticket "B"

 

Haydn dines with Mozart
chamber opera in four courses

Music: Slavo Solovic
Libretto: Viliam Klimáček
Director: Maja Hriešik
Scene design: Zuzu Hudek

 


Haydn: Gustáv Beláček, bass-baritone
Mozart: Matúš Šimko, tenor
Slúžka: Eva Šušková, soprano
Artemis: Andrea Vizvári, soprano


Branko Ladič, piano, harpsichord
Vladimíra Ščigulinská, violin
Milan Adamec, violin
Slavo Solovic, viola
Magdaléna Izakovičová, cello


This opera by a young Slovak composer presents an imaginary meeting between two phenomenal composers,  Haydn and Mozart, based on actual events. The composer was inspired by classical music, and uses period effects learned from reading the works of Haydn and Mozart. The opera combines the comic attributes of prisoners: on the one hand it is a celebration of the life and food that were loved by both composers; and, on the other hand, it raises questions about the inner freedom of the artist and the economic limitations with which artists had to deal in the days of Haydn and Mozart (conditions which exist today, as well). This performance features the renowned Slovak opera singers Gustav Beláček, Matúš Šimko, Eva Šušková and Andrea Vizvári. The singers will be accompanied by a string quartet, piano and harpsichord.  And the performance will be enlivened by projected images.

 

 

Haydn dines with Mozart
chamber opera in four courses

The opera narrates a story about historically actual and unique dinner meeting of Haydn and Mozart in Haydn´s apartment in Vienna on 15th December 1790 and reveals a true reason of Mozart’s death that occurred one year after the dinner.

Menu

An asparagus strudel with ham and asparagus soup
Spargelstrudel Mit luftgetrocknetem Schinken und spargel süppchen

*
Dumpling salad with crawfish
Flusskrebsnockerl-Salat
*
Deer a la Esterhazy with Viennese dumpling and julienne vegetable
Bock Esterázy mit Serviettenknödel und Gemüse Julienne
*
Quinquin cream with marinated strawberries
Quinquincreme mit marinierten Erdbeeren

 

The libretto is based on an actual meeting of the composers in Haydn´s apartment in Vienna on 15th December 1790 on the eve of Haydn´s departure to London where he received his great success. Mozart dies within a year of his departure.

I like the character of the court vice-chaplain Hayden not only because of his music but mainly for his remarkable life. He came from a poor family, lived close to today´s Bratislava on the Eisenstaedt castle where he spent his best years as a court chaplain of the house Esterhazy. The original fragments of his work contract can be seen in the libretto as well. It was the Austrian isolation where he wasn´t allowed to leave the castle and only composed a “utility” music to cheer the family that brought him into, as he used to put it, “being original”. His life reminds me of the generation of Czechoslovak artists who remained trapped behind the Iron curtain after the WWII, being isolated from the modern art but despite of this situation they became great.

Haydn was a paid artist, but Mozart on the other hand had a difficult time to succeed. And this is another motto of the libretto – does actually the artist always need some kind of a protector? What´s the real price for having a powerful sponsor? Is he able to create beautiful music “on command” or does he need to be internally free facing no economic pressure? These are most probably the questions everyone who composes, sings, paints or writes would ask. The third motive of the libretto is the celebration of food and life, very well known to both composers. This is the comical level of the opera where the previous mentioned themes should be presented as discreet stars on the night sky under which we dine.

The immediate impulse for creating such a project was the feast prepared by the Esterhazys in Carlton after the premiere of Haydn´s opera in the Slovak National theatre. The four main courses gave names to the four libretto scenes. They also represent the celebration of joy and playfulness of the Mozart-Haydn genius.

Viliam Klimáček

*

The music in opera is usually known by its expressive connection with libretto. Inspired by the period features even if used very freely, it does not contain exact historical context. We also come across different quotations of both artists. Together with Viliam Klimáček, we planned to have musicians and singers on the stage as the part of the play in order to describe the authentic atmosphere of playing on different instruments so typical for the period. Also, the author becomes the part of the group interpreting the whole play.

The score is as well written without the need to enforce author´s notion and therefore to be able to react flexibly on the circumstances. The dinner was settled in Hayden´s apartment therefore a piano or a harpsichord was a usual object there so I use both of them. For example, the housemaid was also one part of the musical band, playing with a fork on tuned glasses. A stringed quartet, as originally created by Hayden, plays a crucial role in his works. The play is completed by an electronic track that underlines the plot´s dramatic levels. “

Slavomír Solovic

*

“The libretto together with Solovic´s music and the menu of this fictional yet probable event from the music history dance around our senses and serves facts with fiction occasionally surprising with bitter taste only to caress you with its sweetness. The artistic world looks quite similar to the reality, it´s full of contrarieties, compromises, vagaries of the powerful, mystical highs following narrow needs and desires.

The stage expression of the opera is similar to a paper jigsaw puzzle, it´s fragile, almost non-material. The stage setting uses historical elements and formalities yet keeps its sensibility while the video accompanies the plot with pictures where food is an icon as is the music. The icons appear as something divine yet disappear elusively or even change to banal shadows.”

Maja Hriešik - director


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