In 1917 the Cech composer Leoš Janácek (1854 – 1928) met Kamila Stösslová in a care institution. The woman was almost forty years younger than him. Their relationship remained platonic, even though she obsessed Janácek until his death. Over seven hundred letters testify it, and one opera (inspired by the poem of a boy desperately in love with a young gipsy girl named Zefka) called Zápisník zmizelého: The Diary of One Who Disappeared.
A passionate piece, defined by the composer, in a letter to his muse, as: «A show so full of emotions and fire that could turn us both to ashes if touched by it». Worldwide acclaimed Dutch director Ivo van Hove, Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s artistic director, collected this heritage to create a piece of musical theatre capable of giving back all Janácek’s sense of mystery and poetry.
Twenty-two songs for piano and tenor, which are part of the opera’s original structure, are enriched by three women choir and one mezzo-soprano’s songs written by composer Annelies Van Parys. The result is a mixture of tenderness and cruelty dragging us in the centre of music and at the core of every amorous dialogue.
Duration 80' Composition Leoš Janácek New composition Annelies Van Parys Director Ivo van Hove Scenography, Light Jan Versweyveld Costumes An D’huys Dramaturgy Krystian Lada Tenor Ed Lyon Actor Wim van der Grijn Piano, Musical director Lada Valesova Mezzo-soprano Marie Hamard Soprano (trio) Trees Beckwé, Isabelle Jacques Mezzo-soprano (trio) Lisa Willems Assistant director Jaap Dieleman Technic Anne Van Es, Ray Vaesen, Steven Brys Costumes Viviane Coubergs Subtitles Bart Boone Production Veerle Vervoort Producer Muziektheater Transparant Co-producers Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Klara Festival, De Munt/La Monnaie, Kaaitheater, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Opera Days Rotterdam, Beijing Music Festival Photo © Laura Makabresku Photo gallery © Jan Versweyveld