Scottish Opera is offering audiences the chance to see something a little out of the ordinary this spring - Leoš Janáček’s The Adventures of Mr Brouček. Rarely seen in the UK and never before seen in Scotland, this comically offbeat opera comes hot on the heels of the Company’s revival of blockbuster La bohème.
Scottish Opera has long championed the work of Czech composer Janáček, and this staging of Mr Brouček marks the completion of Scottish Opera’s presentation of the entire body of operas by the composer, which began in the 1980s.
The Adventures of Mr Brouček is a surreal work that sees the less-than-sober Mr Brouček on an adventure through space and time – beginning with a fantastical trip to the Moon and ultimately leading him into the midst of the revolution in 15th Century Prague. Director John Fulljames’s staging gives a real poignancy to the elements of Brouček’s tale by updating it to 1968 - the year of the first US Moon landings and just prior to the attempt by the Soviet Army to halt the liberalisation of Czechoslovakia. The music is a real treat and is as varied as the plot – from the extra-terrestrial sounds of the Moon music to the gorgeous orchestral interlude representing the transformation to Prague, where bagpipes and an organ add an edge to the stirringly patriotic Hussite hymns and celebrations.
Mr Brouček is a co-production with Opera North and was well received by critics when first premièred last October in Leeds. The distinguished cast includes John Graham-Hall as Mr Brouček, Scottish mezzo-soprano Francis McCafferty, Anne Sophie Duprels (returning after her performance as Manon for Scottish Opera last year), and Peter Savidge who was last seen on the Scottish stage as Don Alfonso in David McVicar’s production of Così fan tutte in 2009.Conductor Martin André will lead The Orchestra of Scottish Opera in performance in Scotland.
Mr Brouček is sung in English with English supertitles.
Theatre Royal Glasgow
Thu 8 Apr 7.15pm
Sat 10 April, 7.15pm *+
Mr Brouček Unwrapped – Fri 9 Apr 6pm
Festival Theatre Edinburgh
Wed 14 Apr 7.15pm
Fri 16 Apr 7.15pm *+
Mr Brouček Unwrapped – Thu 15 Apr 6pm
Running time - approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes