Ostrava is the only Czech city to host a regular opera festival focused on Czech and world premieres. The time: June 24–28, 2018. The venues: traditional theater houses, but also Hlubina Colliery. The artists: chamber ensembles as well as a production involving 110 people onstage. Czech and international production teams bring you avant-garde and uncompromisingly cutting-edge opera.
“The program of NODO 2018 is just extraordinary. I don not hesitate to say that you would have to go out of your way to find anything like it. The fourth iteration of our biennial festival features six unique productions, opening with the world premiere (!) of Alois Hába magnum opus and closing with John Cage fusion of music and theater.” Petr Kotík, NODO artistic director
Six operas and six (actually seven!) reasons to visit this year NODO
1. Alois Hába and the world only sixth-tone opera: Thy Kingdom Come!
What is a sixth-tone? Imagine two neighboring tones and divide the space in between into six parts. Here something for the perfect-pitch crowd! And what gave Hába the idea? “You see, not even Hektor, the dog next door, feels bound by Western-European tonal system.” Alois Hába dreamed of entirely liberated music, of an inexhaustible wealth of sounds which a composer could recombine endlessly. An outstanding figure of Czech 20thcentury music, Alois Hába was a visionary, daring innovator, dreamer – but also a realist. All the vocalists and instrumentalists are looking forward to the moment they unleash their sixth-tone parts. It is going to sound pretty wild, even off-key in a sense, but we just need to hear it! Jiří Myron Theater, June 24 and 25, 6:30PM.
2. Salvatore Sciarrino‘s delicate horror opera Luci mie traditricimakes its Czech debut!
Having successfully performed the piece in Warsaw, the Polish team brings their production to Ostrava, treating NODO attendees to an entirely original and blood-curdling take on a work of one of the best-known composers of contemporary opera. On the surface, though, there is no violence nor cruelty in Oh My Betraying Eyes(the English title of the piece). “Nothing (much) happens… but each act reverberates endlessly… even death itself beckons,” to quote fragments of the composers note on the work. The story is based on the murder of Maria d Avalos by her husband, the Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo. Antonín Dvořák Theater, June 26, 2018, 7PM
3. Hong Kong Daniel Lo and his very first opera A Woman Such as Myself!
After last year Ostrava Days, which marked Daniel Lo third time as one of the festival student artists-in-residence, the organizers have asked him to compose a chamber opera for NODO. The libretto is based on a short story by Xi Xi, one of the most respected contemporary Hong Kong writers. A young protagonist works as a make-up artist… in a morgue. Her aunt, in whose footsteps she follows, has been forced to prioritize the company of the dead over her relationships with the living, a fate the protagonist means to avoid. Will she manage to bridge the rift between the truth and our perception? One man fragrant flowers are another man harbinger of death.Hlubina Colliery – Old Bathrooms, June 27, 7PM.
4. Macle, a vocal composition by Julius Eastman (who was an experimental pianist and singer to boot!)
Eastman, whose work was inspired by the Minimalist compositions of Terry Riley, La Monte Young or Steve Reich, but also by Morton Feldman and others, died impoverished, alone and homeless. The year was 1990 and the musical world did not learn about his death until months later. Sporadically, a happy coincidence leads to a discovery of some lost work of his; these works, however, are very much in vogue today, being performed at the world most prestigious experimental venues. Eastman wrote Macleat the end of 1971 for Petr Kotík S.E.M. Ensemble, the current members of which are coming from New York to introduce this radical troublemaker of the 70s and 80s.Hlubina Colliery – Old Bathrooms, June 27, 8:30PM
5. Rudolf Komorous and his allegedly very last work. The composer turns 87 this year!
“I have always admired French modernism, especially Dada and surrealism, and considered Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes one of the most genuine Dada artists.” Especially taken with Ribemont-Dessaignes The Mute Canary, Rudolf Komorous has fashioned the play into an opera, finishing it this spring. The work, written exclusively for NODO, will be performed by the composer colleagues from the Canadian west coast, where Rudolf Komorous has lived since his 1969 emigration. Antonín Dvořák Theater, June 28, 2018, 6:30PM.
6. Open works based on 92 solos: an authentic performance of Song Books by John Cage
This extended collection of solo compositions allows the performers a great degree of freedom. The pieces fall into four categories: vocal solos; voice and electronics; stage action; action with electronics. A performance can include any selection of solos and can overlap them at will. This is a treacherous freedom, however, since the performance requires both zeal and disciplined selflessness. Song Books can be understood as a work of musical surrealism pruned of all psychoanalytical aspects. John Cage wished for the work to be performed at a proper opera house – and we are in the business of wish-fulfilling. Antonín Dvořák Theater, June 28, 2018, 8:30PM.
AND THE SEVENTH REASON?
Do not be afraid of Ostrava! It is a very welcoming place!The center of the city is cozy, full of parks, trees, cafes and restaurants, and also boasts exuberant nightlife and comfortable public transport. All festival venues are within a few minutes distance from each other. You can look forward to an open-minded musical community, including production teams from around the world, and, above all, to six utterly unique performances you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. This Sunday, Ostrava Center for New Music and the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre, the two institutions behind the festival, will be waiting to welcome you with open arms!
NODO 2018 receives financial support from the Statutory City of Ostrava, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Art Mentor Foundation, Libor Winkler, the Moravian-Silesian Region and other sponsors.
Kristýna Konczyna, manager
Ostravské centrum nové hudby / Ostrava Center for New Music,Dr. Šmerala 2, 702 00 Ostrava
Landline: +420 596 203 426, mobile phone: +420 777 613 184, www.newmusicostrava.cz