On October 14, J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň presented with great success a world premiere of Jakub Jan Ryba, first and as yet last opera by composer Miroslav Kubička (*1951). The piece is based on Josef Bouček’s successful 80s play The Shepherds’ Night about the cruel fate of the composer and schoolmaster who is today known often only as the author of the vastly popular Czech Christmas Mass.
Kubička, together with librettist Jaroslav Gillar, had been working on the opera for over ten years. The result is an all-evening work in neoclassical style, at times quoting Ryba’s music, for 18 soloists, big choir including 40 children and orchestra. At the premiere, the title role was sung by tenor Tomáš Kořínek (who is going to be alternating with Jaroslav Březina), his adversary, the priest, by Jiří Kubík (altern. Richard Haan) and his wife by Petra Alvarez Šimková (altern. Ivana Veberová). The director Tomáš Pilář respected the temporal and local setting; the scene thus creates the impression of a snow-covered village and the protagonists in historic costumes move around the period furniture. The music director is Jiří Štrunc, who is going to be taking turns conducting with Jakub Zicha. Three more performances will tbe held before the end of the year.
14 October 2017, J. K. Tyl Theatre, Plzeň
Miroslav Kubička: Jakub Jan Ryba (world premiere)
The Choir, Children’s Choir and Orchestra of J. K. Tyl Theatre
directed by: Tomáš Pilař, music director: Jakub Štrunc, choirmaster: Zdeněk Vimr
following performances: Oct 15 and 31, Nov 11 and Dec 25 2017