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Reviews, Stage Reviews

The Slovak National Theater Opera 2023-24 Review: The Kiss


(Photo: Henrich Mišovič) Most opera goers are familiar with Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride.” Yet, if asked to name one of his seven other operas, many would struggle to come up with an answer, which is not too surprising given how infrequently they are staged in theaters outside of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This in itself gives rise to the {…}

Interviews, Stage Spotlight

Q & A: Soprano Linda Ballová On Her Career Path, ‘Salome,’ & the Challenges for Slovak Singers in Europe


(Photo: Tamara Cerna SofiG) Immediately after the curtain came down on Brno National Theater’s excellent production of Richard Strauss’ “Salome,” OperaWire nipped around to the stage door for an interview appointment with Slovakian soprano Linda Ballová, who had just produced a stunning performance in the titular role. It is unlikely that many opera-goers in Western countries will have heard the {…}


Slovak Government Declares State of Emergency, Country Enters Lockdown


(Credit: Opera Online) The Slovak government has declared 90-day long state of emergency due to the uncontrolled spread of SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus. Additionally, the government has decided to impose a strict two-week lockdown. People will only be allowed to leave their homes to go to the shops or to work; to take a walk in the park; to visit their {…}


Slovak National Theatre Closes Due to Coronavirus


The Slovak National Theatre has closed for two weeks due to the coronavirus. The theater released a statement which said, “Please note that, as of today, March 9, the Slovak National Theatre is cancelling all performances in the SND new and historical buildings due to coronavirus COVID-19. This measure is made in compliance with the decision adopted by the SND {…}

Special Features

Best Of 2019: OperaWire’s Top 11 Singers Of The Year


(Credit: Catherine Ashmore/Royal Opera – Antoni Bofill/Gran Teatre del Liceu – Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera) As we end the year its time to look back at the past 365-ish days and the big moments that defined 2019. It was a great year for numerous singers who broke-out and for established performers who took their careers in new directions or made important {…}

Reviews, Stage Reviews

Prague National Theatre 2017-18 Review – Billy Budd: Britten Masterwork Capsizes In a Sea of Questionable Direction


Herman Melville, E.M. Forster, Eric Crozier and Benjamin Britten all believed that “Billy Budd” was set at sea. Czech theatre director Daniel Špinar thinks otherwise. His new four-act production of Britten’s psychologically fascinating, demonstrably homoerotic and deeply disturbing drama for the National Theatre in Prague had as much to do with HMS Indomitable as “Madama Butterfly” moved to Mozambique. In the {…}

Interviews, Stage Spotlight

Q & A: Soprano Mária Porubčinová Talks about Smetana’s ‘The Kiss’ and her Role as Vendulka


Photo:Henrich Mišovič It is the morning of the premiere of The Slovak National Theater Opera’s new production of Smetana’s opera “The Kiss,” a rarely performed work in western Europe but one that receives regular presentations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. To find out more about the opera and the production, we met up for an interview with soprano Mária {…}


Obituary: Soprano Patricia Burda Janečková Dies at the Age of 25


On Oct. 1, 2023, Patricia Burda Janečková died of breast cancer. She was 25. An official statement on Facebook said, “The opera and musical singer lost her courageous fight with an aggressive disease. She passed away on October 1, 2023, surrounded by the tender care of her husband, Vlastimil Burda, and her loved ones. She left a lasting legacy through {…}