Friday, February 7, 2020, 7 p.m., Komedie Theatre ((Jungmannova 15/1, Prague 1)



Conductor: Gabriela Tardonová
Stage director: Kristiana Belcredi
Sets and costumes: Sylva Marková
Producer: Natálie Vančurová


Božena Němcová: Jarmila Balážová
Josef Němec: Lukáš Rieger
Kvartet: Aneta Podracká Bendová, Pavla Radostová, Martin Javorský, Aleš Janiga


The chamber opera I Am the Princess of Fools (Jsem kněžna bláznů) was being originated for several years. It is divided into nine scenes and final Epilog and tells a story of private and creative life of the first Czech writer. Libretto, which is based on her correspondence, poems by Frantisek Halas, Vladimír Holan and František Pavlíček, was written by documentarist Olga Sommerová. The main role of Božena Němcová introduces young talented singer Jarmila Balážová, speaking role of her man is acted by Lukáš Rieger. It is the only speaking part in the opera, and it is because Josef Němec did not fit into the world of his dreamy women with his purely realistic view of the world. Instrumentation is quite traditional due to the theme – flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, piano and strings. Characters from the life of Božena Němcová are embodied by the four-member choir.

Božena Němcová is well known as an author of The Grandma (Babička). But a little is known about her remarkable private and professional life, about her political and emancipation activities and modern, newish opinions or fascinating letters. Her desire for personal and social freedom may serve as an example for today’s women and men. For us, she is a challenge and guarantee at the same time as we can raise our heads against the deep-seated prejudices. She is one of the greatest women that were ever born in our lands – thanks to her literary talent, defiant, brave, yet painful life or liberal and independent opinions being above the opinions of her contemporaries. It is a huge shame that she is not fully appreciated until these days. Therefore, it was a main goal of this opera to show Božena Němcová as independent, courageous and independent woman.

Božena is a friend of all Czech women who did not give up their desire for personal, as well as social freedom. For us, she is a challenge and guarantee at the same time as we can raise our heads against the deep-seated prejudices. She inspires us to think and act in ways different from those expected from us from time immemorial, to find our identity and self-esteem.

Olga Sommerová, librettist




Jsem kněžna bláznů, foto Vít Kobza

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