The 2nd edition of the International Theatre Festival Eurokontext.sk, held from 20 May to 3 June 2016, focused on opera and dance. It was a showcase of 16 performances by a range of operatic and ballet houses in Europe, including those from the SND Opera and Ballet.
Eurokontext.sk 2016: Opera
SND home ensemble was joined by colleagues from Košice, Brno, Prague and Cologne. The programme presented a lavish smorgasbord of operatic repertoire, as well as production poetics and performing finesse.
- The Opera of the National Theatre Prague ,arrived with two chamber pieces by Dimitry Schostakovich, Orango and Anti-Formalis Rayok, conducted by Jan Kučera and directed by Sláva Daubnerová. The works offered a highly authentic historic testimony of the composer´s historic revolt against the Stalinist dictate and cultural dogmatism.
The Prague ensemble also represented a distinct interpretation of Janáček´s From the House of the Dead. With musical direction by Robert Jindra and directed by Daniel Špinar this was an impressive and visually captivating production.
- The Opera of the National Theatre Brno introuced at the Eurokontext.sk an unusual dramaturgical marriage: within a single evening the ensemble presented the Epic of Gilgamesh by Bohuslav Martinů and Purcell´s Baroque operatic gem Dido and Aeneas. The two works that emerged three centuries apart, are linked by a common theme: a myth. The staging by Jiří Heřman created an additional common thread in terms of the production that went from sombre and symbolic portrayal of the story of Gilgamesh all the way to the playful contemporary portrait of the fate of the Ancient Greek character Dido and Aeneas.
- The project Harlequin Restor´d!, a cooperation with the internationally lauded mime Milan Sládek and Baroque music ensemble Nel dolce from Cologne, revived the tradition of the old English harlequinades.
- Prokofiev´s musical drama The Fiery Angel, one of the infrequently staged operatic works of 20h century Classical Modernism, was brought by the opera of the National Moravian–Silesian Theatre in Ostrava in musical direction by Jan Kučera and directed by Jiří Nekvasil.
- The Opera chapter of the Festival culminated with the project by the State Theatre Kočice. It drew an thought-provoking link between the classics and contemporary works: the opera Mozart and Salieri by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and a new piece by the contemporary Slovak composer Marán Lejava, Loved by God. The common denominator of the opuses was Mozart in his final years and his relationship with Antonio Salieri
The profile of the Festival programme in the musical and drama genre was dramaturgically defined by the contrast between the new works of local provenience, dominated by operatic classics, and featured guest performances of modern operatic opuses and/or unorthodox combinations of two works or of alternative genres.
Eurokontext.sk 2016: Ballet
The Ballet featured three globally renowned ensembles, complementing them with two recent productions by the SND Ballet: the Slovak Dances – The Lives of Lights by Peter Breiner and Natália Horečná, and the then hot news, BESS – Homage to Rudolf Laban by Šárka Ondrišová and Peter Groll.
- The company of the legendary Spanish choreographer Antonio Gades presented at the Festival two productions that have since become cult pieces reviving the Spanish dance legacy, the Blood Wedding and Flamenco Suite.
- The Hungarian–French ensemble Compagnie Pál Frenák arrived on SND stage with the captivating contemporary dance performance, the Birdie.
- The two final Festival nights were dedicated again with great success to the legendary Eifman Ballet with the production of Anna Karenina