An introduction to Ivan Acher’s STERNENHOCH – National Theatre Prague

An introduction to Ivan Acher’s STERNENHOCH – National Theatre Prague


Break a leg! The New Stage of the National Theatre
World Premiere 7 April 2018 I was brought to work on this project
by the composer, Ivan Acher, whom I have known for a long time and we have been collaborating
for many years. I am happy to work with him. I respect him as
a composer and as a person. But it is a great responsibility,
to direct a world premiere. Ivan Acher was a clear choice for our program
of playing contemporary Czech operas
at the New Stage. We both like Ladislav Klíma, so it was quite
simple to agree what the new opera
should be about. The vocal lines Ivan Acher composes
never cease to amaze me. In this piece, the singing consists of some very
high notes but it is still a joy to sing. I wanted to really achieve the sound
of a great Italian opera. I wanted to liberate Klíma’s text from
the violent operatic phrasing, but preserve something of the great
Italian bel canto feeling. Let me introduce Mr. Malovec, who translated
the whole piece to Esperanto. In general, when you go to see an opera,
you should always know the plot beforehand
and concentrate on the music. So, why not make it faster? Why not liberate your hemisphere from
grasping for information in the sung text
and let spectators just enjoy the musical aspect? And the libretto is presented in the form of subtitles,
like you have in operas nowadays,
with full force of Klíma’s text. The first contact with Acher’s music was
really powerful for me. His music is so magical. It underlines the spiritual basis of Klíma’s work
on some very deep level. Acher’s music cannot be easily classified, also thanks to the fact that he remained
‘untainted‘ by music education. Music schools often deprive students
of their originality but Acher behaves freely and composes
whatever he wants. There is no official authority to tell us,
what contemporary opera should look like. Acher’s work is an interesting contribution
to current opera as a genre.

1 thought on “An introduction to Ivan Acher’s STERNENHOCH – National Theatre Prague

  1. Does anyone know what’s happening on that stage? It’s a mess. It’s ok for a few minutes. Two hours,no. Looks like a Halloween fest.

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