The Makropulos Affair (concert performance; sung in Czech)
Emilia Marty ….. Karita Mattila (soprano)
Albert Gregor ….. Aleš Briscein (tenor)
Dr Kolenatý ….. Gustáv Beláček (bass)
Vítek ….. Jan Vacík (tenor)
Kristina ….. Eva Štěrbová (soprano)
Baron Jaroslav Prus ….. Svatopluk Sem (baritone)
Janek ….. Aleš Voráček (tenor)
Hauk-Šendorf ….. Jan Ježek (tenor)
Stage Technician ….. Jiří Klecker (bass)
Cleaning Woman ….. Yvona Skvárová (mezzo-soprano)
Chambermaid ….. Jana Hrochová (mezzo-soprano)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jiří Bělohlávek (conductor)
Reviewed: 1 August, 2020
Karita Mattila stars in a concert performance of Janáček’s opera The Makropulos Affair, a drama of immortality, death and the purpose of life, conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek with the BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Orchestra.
An all-star cast gathers for Janáček’s late, existential masterpiece, The Makropulos Affair. This tragic satire is powered by a score that contains some of the composer’s most extreme and alluring music, written as Janáček was approaching 70 – and aflame with desire for a married woman less than half his age. The opera’s heroine, Emilia Marty, is part-inspired by his reluctant muse, Kamila Stösslová.
The Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, acclaimed for her ‘electrifying’ portrayal of Marty in a 2012 production at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, is joined by native Czech musicians, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s former Conductor Laureate Jiří Bělohlávek. This is only the second performance of The Makropulos Affair at the Proms – the first being Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s 1995 production under Sir Andrew Davis.