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Opera Matinee: Janacek's Fate

Janacek's opera Fate, in an idiomatic performance recorded in 2018 at the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre.

Fate, written in 1904, is the strangest of Leoš Janáček’s peculiar operas. The relationship of the main character, composer Živný, with Míla Válková ends with a tragedy caused by Míla’s insane mother. Živný also becomes a character in his own opera, whose third act remains in God’s hands. Everything is shrouded in mysterious shadows of the past, while the future is lit by lightning, which Živný calls down on himself and his destiny - his Fate

Presented by Kate Molleson

Fate, opera in three acts
Martin Šrejma, tenor - Živný, a composer
Veronika Holbová, soprano - Míla Valková
Petra Alvarez Šimková, soprano - Mila´s mother
Tomáš Kořínek, tenor - Doctor Suda
Jakub Kettner, baritone - Lhotský, a painter
Lukáš Bařák, baritone - Verva/Konečný
National Moravian-Silesian Theatre Chorus & Orchestra
Jakub Klecker, conductor

Symphony no.4
BBC Philharmonic
John Storgards, conductor

Symphony no.6
BBC Philharmonic
Jac van Steen, conductor

3 hours

Music Played

  • Leos Janáček

    Osud [Fate] - Act 1

    Ensemble: National Moravian-Silesian Theatre Chorus & Orchestra. Conductor: Jakub Klecker.
  • Leos Janáček

    Osud [Fate] - Act 2

    Ensemble: National Moravian-Silesian Theatre Chorus & Orchestra. Conductor: Jakub Klecker.
  • Leos Janáček

    Osud [Fate] - Act 3

    Ensemble: National Moravian-Silesian Theatre Chorus & Orchestra. Conductor: Jakub Klecker.
  • George Antheil

    Symphony no. 4

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: John Storgårds.
  • Anton Webern

    (Bach) Fuga (Ricercata) a 6 voci, orch. [from 'Musikalisches Opfer', BWV.1079]

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: John Storgårds.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Symphony no. 6 in E flat minor Op.111

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Jac van Steen.
  • George Antheil

    Over the Plains

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: John Storgårds.
    • CHANDOS.


Act 1

At the centre of the attention of the spa guests in

Luhačovice is the poetic Dr Suda with his friends Konečný,

Lhotský and a young woman, Míla. A new guest arrives, the

composer Živný. Everyone is surprised to discover that

Živný and Míla know each other.

They all leave and only the composer Živný and Míla

remain. Their relationship in the past had been thwarted

by Míla's mother, who considered life with a composer as

a beggar's existence. Živný wrote an opera about his

unhappy life. Now, many years later, he discovered that

he had falsely accused Míla of unfaithfulness in the opera;

her son, Doubek, is in fact his child. Now Živný and Míla

decide to start a new life together.

Act 2

Živný, Míla and young Doubek live together with Míla's

unhinged mother. Živný sings excerpts from his opera. He

now has to get rid of the part where he had earlier

wrongfully denigrated Míla. Young Doubek asks his mother

if she knows what love is. Míla knows only too well - love

and her whole life is Fate.

Life together with the mother is miserable. She is becoming

increasingly deranged; she is being forced to live under the

same roof with a man who she believes is only out for her

money. The mother sees Živný as an evil raven. She wants

to fly away from him, but when she falls from the balcony,

she takes Míla with her. Živný is bereft at the loss of his

wife. Lightning flashes as a portent of his unhappy fate.

Act 3

The students at a conservatory are singing a part from

a new opera which was written by their teacher, Živný. The

work is supposed to have its premiere that evening in the

theatre, but the final act is still missing. The pupils ask him

to tell them something about his strange opera. Živný

passionately relates to them the origin of the work

and the surprised students realize that the plot of the opera

is in fact the true story of his life. Živný approaches the part

where Míla dies...suddenly a storm approaches in which

Živný sees his dead wife. The stunned composer falls

to the ground. The end of the opera remains unwritten in the

hand of God, just as with Živný's fate.


  • Thu 7 Nov 2019 14:00