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Michaela Mojžišová

Abstract

The paper examines the work of the acclaimed German opera and theatre director Peter Konwitschny at the Opera of the Slovak National Theatre. The authoress bases herself on an analysis of the productions of Eugen Onegin (2005) [Eugene Onegin], by Tchaikovsky, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (2007) and Bohéma (2013) [La bohème], Janáček‘s Vec Makropulos (2015) [The Makropulos Affair], and Halévy‘s Židovka (2017) [La Juive], all of which, save for Janáček‘s opera, the Opera of the Slovak National Theatre has borrowed from foreign theatre scenes. The authoress makes a stocklist of the basic principles of Konwitschny’s direction signature and his contribution to theatre production, as well as to the artistic ensemble of the Bratislava Opera.

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Jana Dudková

Abstract

The text deals with the ways in which Slovak live-action films made in the 1990s introduced the topic of mistrust in the State and in its institutions. Using specific examples, the text demonstrates that such mistrust was not primarily a critical attitude, but rather consisted of two basic forms of rejection. On the one hand, live-action films made for cinema often promoted the post-modern principle of a “relative” truth, presenting a lifestyle with minimal ties to the State, sometimes also formulating a mistrust in specific state institutions (the police, state-run artistic institutions, education system) by means of irony. On the other hand, films made for state television frequently drew attention to corruption in state organisations and the fact it was usually being generally accepted as a status that did not need to be analysed. In both cases, the message of the 1990s was carried onto the next millennium, and can eventually be interpreted as a way of solidifying the discourse of mistrust that we perceive in contemporary Slovak film for cinemas and television.

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Jan Motal

Abstract

The article combines both philosophical and psychological approaches to argue that art and theatre performance especially can be grasped as a revelation of the universal and basic human concern, which is existential anxiety. The author presents an opinion, that via performative acts on stage, spectators and performers/actors are interconnected in hermeneutic situation (Hans-Georg Gadamer), in which they play their existential experience. Therefore, the universal death anxiety (Irvin D. Yalom) can be understood as a possible platform for interpersonal and intercultural dialogue (Martin Buber). The article concludes, that archetypes (Carl Gustav Jung) are such a place for mutual understanding, representing both mental and physical answers to the basic existential experience of humankind.

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Jana Laslavíková

Abstract

Antonín Hořejš was one of the most prominent opera critics working in Bratislava in the inter-war period. With his distinctive views, he often stood in sharp opposition to traditionalist efforts, viewing them as a threat to the artistic growth of modern Slovak culture. This year’s fiftieth anniversary of his death is a good occasion for an assessment of his contribution to musical theatre, which he followed from the establishment of the Slovak National Theatre to the beginning of the Second World War.

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Ján Sládeček

Abstract

The plays of William Shakespeare, except for Hamlet (Nová scéna, 1974) and Richard III (SND, 1987), do not define the artistic profile of Miloš Pietor, yet they significantly supplement it. Although as a dramaturge he felt at his best in a different repertoire, his several encounters with Shakespeare cannot go unnoticed. They must be examined for complete information about the director’s artistic development, but also about the productions of Shakespeare in Slovakia. Pietor had encountered Shakespeare six times; their seventh encounter was interrupted by the director’s unex pected death. The present paper deals with Pietor’s production of Shakespeare’s historical chronicles for the Slovak National Theatre in the period of 1980-1987.

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Nadežda Lindovská

Abstract

Art was perceived in the Soviet Union as a part of ideology and propaganda aimed not only at the domestic environment but also at foreign countries. State cultural policy was presented through a series of magnificent meetings and shows, to which also participants from abroad were invited. In the 1930s Moscow was the venue of several theatre festivals, which were attended by Czechoslovak theatre makers. In 1936 it was also attended by Ján Jamnický, the novice theatre director of the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava. The Slovak theatre maker saw a lot of inspiring productions and experienced the initial period of a campaign aimed at suppressing the freedom of artistic expression. He became a witness to the twilight of Russian theatre avant-garde. The present paper describes the theatre experiences of Ján Jamnický in the Soviet Union and their impact on his life, production and style of direction. It points to a series of overlooked facts which are necessary for a complete understanding of the historical and artistic context of Soviet theatre and Jamnický’s journey.

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Karol Mišovic

Abstract

This paper presents little-known historical contexts of the life and production of the first Slovak professional director Ján Borodáč (1892-1964). It follows his private life, first encounters with theatre and especially his two-year studies in Prague. Its ambition is to offer several hypotheses which are supposed to elucidate the basic issues of Borodáč’s later production. It was namely during his youth and first encounters with practical theatre life that Borodáč’s views of theatre, which influenced Slovak professional theatre until the 1960s, were formed.

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Dagmar Podmaková Ú

Abstract

In the 1940s the Drama Company of the Slovak National Theatre introduced four poetry productions, which demonstrated the stage potential of the symbiosis of verse and a music-accompanied recitation in an original stage design solution. The single presentation of poetry of Poézia revolúcie a boja [The Poetry of Revolution and Fight, 1945] directed by Ján Jamnický and Pásmo poézie Janka Jesenského [The Show of Poetry by Janko Jesenský, 1946] directed by Jozef Budský were the first independent attempts at staging selected poetry. Besides recitation, they were dominated by the visual sign, powerful music sometimes accompanied by the singing of individuals and a voice band, and distinctive lighting design. Botto’s Smrť Jánošíkova [The Death of Jánošík] and Sládkovič’s Marína (both in 1948) directed by Jozef Budský displayed all features of synthetic theatre, combining recitation, voice band singing, scenic and visual solutions, metaphor, originally composed music inspired by the folk song, dance, film screening, and meaningful lighting. Jozef Budský indirectly built on Czech theatre, particularly on E. F. Burian. Both masterpieces by the authors of Štúr’s generation (Ján Botto, Andrej Sládkovič) aroused the interest of the expert public and the audience. It triggered arguments about excessive directorial intervention and insufficient ideological character, especially in the theatre form of Marína.

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Andrej Maťašík

Abstract

This study deals with the production of the play Chlapci na stráži [Boys on Guard], which was awarded in a competition organized on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia in the spring of 1938. It was written by Ján Borodáč, the artistic director of the Drama Company of the Slovak National Theatre under the pseudonym of Ján Debnár. By the time it was premiered on 29 October 1939, there had been significant political changes. Following the Munich Agreement, Czechoslovakia, based on the decision of the prime ministers of France, Great Britain, Italy and Germany, had lost ethnically mixed Czech-German borderlands, President Eduard Beneš had offered his resignation and had gone into exile, and Slovakia had got the autonomy it was promised by the Pittsburgh Agreement (an obligation that had gone unfulfilled for long). The play which was supposed to celebrate the anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic paradoxically acquired a new meaning under the pressure of these changes - it celebrated the autonomy and called for a defiance of revisionist pressures from Horthy’s Hungary.

Open access

Slovenske divadlo /The Slovak Theatre

Revue dramatických umení / Journal of Theatre, Film, Radio and Television Art