Saturday
March
15th
2008
3:23 pm

Night at the Opera

My Friday night visit to hear Martinů’s Řecké pašije (Greek Passion) marked my first visit to any serious theater since leaving California. The opera is based on Nikos Kazantzakis’s novel Christ Recrucified.

Brief synopsis:

The preparations for the annual Passion play in the Greek village of Lycovrissi are interrupted by the arrival of refugees whose village has been destroyed by a Turkish attack. The refugees are defended by the shepherd Manolios, who had been chosen for the role of Jesus Christ. Other villagers, particularly the Passion play’s Mary Magdalene (who in real life is also the village prostitute), St. James, St. Peter, and St. John, similarly attempt to help the refugees, but the priest, Grigoris, leads resistance to their presence. Finally, in an argument, the villager Panait, the Passion’s Judas, kills Manolios, and the refugees leave the village in search of a new home.

This was my first visit to the National Theater (Národní Divadlo), since it’s not open to visitors except for performances. It’s a really lovely theater (alas that I’m still camera-less).

The performance itself was wonderfully sung and beautifully staged, and I very much enjoyed the evening out.

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