Artist Of The Week: Jan Dvořák To Bring ‘Frankenstein’ To Hamburg State Opera

By Francisco Salazar

Jan Dvořák is one of today’s most innovative composers in the world. He has described his music as “somewhere between Bach, Wagner and Dr. No.” The composer is influenced by pop and rock, as well as some of the old masters in the classical canon. And this week German audiences are set to hear the world premiere of his second opera “Frankenstein.”

Subtitled “A Gothic Opera,” Dvořák, alongside Philipp Stölzl, adapted the famous Mary Shelley novel into an innovative opera. As Dvořák noted in an interview with Ricordi, the opera is a balance between classical opera and modern acting techniques. The composer wrote vocal parts for every single character except the monster. Dvořák notes that the monster is an outcast and cannot do everything that others can do, hence the lack of a vocal part.

For audiences who are familiar with Dvořák’s music, this innovative style should be no surprise. His first work, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” was known as Pop-music theatre but in the composer’s eyes, it was simply a look at what he believes will be the future of opera. He has also written several solo pieces as well as a requiem and is the co-founder of the group “Kommando Himmelfahrt,” which has since successfully produced interdisciplinary music theater on mythical and futuristic themes.

Hamburg audiences are set for an evening that should be revelatory for those not familiar with the composer and one that should fortify his status as a leading composer in the world.



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