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On demand: The Diary of one who disappeared

Watch online on www.arte.tvRecorded at Müpa: Festival Theatre, Budapest, Hungary
Online until Saturday 24 October 2020
Muziektheater Transparant
Ivo van HoveDirector
Marie HamardMezzo-sopranoZefka

Based on a 1917 song cycle by Leoš Janáček and additional works by composer Annelies Van Parys, this opera, directed by the legendary Ivo Van Hove, tells the story of an impossible idyll alternating between fiction and reality.

In this opera by Leoš Janáček, a young lad falls in love with a gypsy girl, Zefka, and leaves his village for her. The composer took his inspiration from an Ozef Kalda poem, which he turned into an opera for tenor, mezzo-soprano, female choir and piano. The work is also inspired by the artist’s unrequited love for Kamila Stösslová, 38 years his junior.

In this version by Ivo van Hove, an old man (Wim van der Grijn) imagines a younger version of himself (Andrew Dickinson) deciding to leave his village to be with his great love, Zefka (Marie Hamard) – a course of action that will lead to him becoming a stranger in his own land. For this production, Ivo Van Hove takes his inspiration from the original score, but also from the intense correspondence between Janáček and Kamila. Furthermore, Annelies Van Parys' musical composition brings a "contemporary insight" to the original work.

The Belgian director – who won the prestigious Tony Award and the Olivier Award for his direction of Arthur Miller's play A View from the Bridge – is considered to be one of the greatest figures of contemporary European theatre and his work tends to break with the traditional approach. The social and political references that he weaves into his productions provide us with a fresh take on the great classics.

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