Jenufa at the Royal Opera House, London. Credit: Tristram Kenton

Leoš Janáček: Party At Janáček Theatre This Wednesday Marks The Composer’s 170th Birthday

The renowned Czech composer Leoš Janáček would have celebrated his 170th birthday this year. The Brno National Theatre (NdB) and TIC BRNO are holding a birthday party for him on Wednesday, 3 July, on the piazzetta in front of the Janáček Theater, with a full-day program of music, culture and entertainment.

Janáček is the most performed Czech opera composer in the world, and his operas, still regularly performed by the world’s most prestigious opera houses, were created in Brno. Salzburg has Mozart, Bayreuth has Wagner, and Brno has Janáček. 

“Leoš Janáček has long been perceived as a world phenomenon, and we have been promoting him internationally for several years as part of the ‘Janáček’s Brno’ project,” said TIC BRNO director Jana Janulíková. “We operate the website in several languages, and the Janáček trail around the city. We also publish books that present his personality and life in an accessible form.”

Wednesday’s programme in front of Janáček Theatre begins at 10 am, with concerts, comfortable sunbeds, cocktails and a Janáček photo corner. There will also be a birthday cake, baked specially for the occasion by the award-winning company of the Gourmet Brno project, Zeman’s confectionery and cafe, according to a recipe from the cookbook of Janáček’s landlady Máři. Guests can congratulate Janáček on his birthday with their own cards, from which a portrait of Janáček will be created on the piazzetta. The day will culminate with a screening of the opera Jenufa (‘Její Pastorkyňa’) from London’s Royal Opera House, starring Asmik Grigorian, Karita Mattila and Nicky Spence.

 Tattoos available from Vendula Chalánková. Credit: Michal Rusicka

“I feel a great debt towards Leoš Janáček at home, where we still do not perceive and reflect enough on his importance,” added Janulíková. “At the same time, his works were a revelation in their time, in today’s vocabulary we could call them very innovative, a characteristic to which Brno continues to strongly adhere. It’s Leoš Janáček’s birthday and he deserves not only our attention, but also a proper birthday party! He was not only an admirable master musician, but also a man who enjoyed life.” 

As part of both the Janáček Brno project and the summer AutenTIC tours, TIC BRNO has prepared a special birthday walk from the Janáček Theater through the centre of Brno to the Leoš Janáček Memorial, which will be available for free on the anniversary day.

Birthday editions of Janáček souvenirs will also be on sale at the party on Wednesday, such as a stylish tattoo with pictures by the artist Vendula Chalánková, and small souvenirs will also be available from the astronomical clock on Náměstí Svobody, from which a glass ball with a musical motif will fall every hour from 11 am to 11 pm.

Admission to the entire event is free. In case of bad weather, the programme will move to the Reduta Theater.

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