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.
This study looks at the work of Spanish playwright José Echegaray and the circumstances of his domestication on the European theatre stages at the turn of the 20th century. One of his most important works, El gran Galeoto55, arrived in Bratislava in 1889, only one year after its premiere in Vienna and three years after the opening of the new building of the Bratislava City Theatre. The premiere of the work, translated into German and in a theatrical adaptation from Paul Lindau’s pen named Galeotto took place around the same time as the premiere of the work Ralph William from the domestic author Josef Julian, which thanks to a similar theme was perceived as «Bratislava’s Galeotto».
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.
This study deals with television and radio artistic, documentary, and investigative programmes whose thematic focus is the historical figure of Milan Rastislav Štefánik. The analysis examines television and radio recordings from the archives of RTVS, the Slovak Film Institute in Bratislava, and two documentary films produced by the company Kanimex. It focuses on the form of their artistic treatment as well as representation of the personality of Štefánik. In its conclusion, the study summarizes findings about the manner of interpretation of his personality in a model of an audiovisual and audial historical figure.
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.
Selected Facts and Connections in Drama and Film Fiction Package
The authoress, using two visual works, i.e. theatre production #dubček and film Dubček (both 2018), compares two different approaches to and forms of the work with the personality of Alexander Dubček against the backdrop of the reforms and political upheaval in Czecho-Slovakia1, in 1968. Theatre production #dubček (Aréna Theatre, Bratislava, direction Michal Skočovský) has three levels. The first one is acting game having the form of a rehearsal of a new text about the politician Alexander Dubček; its component part is the projection of period archival film shots. The second level involves the actors stepping out of characters and commenting on Dubček’s attitude and on historical events. The third level entails monologue scenes, in which actors reveal their personal attitudes via narrated stories at the time of normalization2 which had a negative impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. In the film Dubček (Slovak-Czech co-production, direction Ladislav Halama), through Dubček’s reminiscing the past, political events interweave with the scenes from the life of Dubček’s family. Although both the works employ period image documentary material and fiction, they fail to create a dramatic conflict and they are illustrative for the bigger part.
Contribution to the History of Gender Relations in Slovakia
From the cultural and art point of view, the year 1948 in Czechoslovakia was not just the so-called “Victorious February” of the working people. The remarkable phenomenon of this era, which was related to the post-war political and social movement, was the phenomenon of female emancipation and feminization of the stage production. During the two consecutive theatre seasons 1947/1948 and 1948/1949, at The New Scene Theatre of the National Theatre in Bratislava, several women, led by the director Magda Husaková-Lokvencová created several productions. For the first time, a sovereign feminine alliance had emerged in our performance art, proving that conceptual and thoughtful theatrical production may not be just the domain of men. These women contributed to deconstructing the beliefs of typically male and typically female professions as well as transforming traditional views of the role and position of both sexes in society and the arts. The attention of theatre historiography in the recapitalization of the impacts of the breakthrough events of the Czechoslovak post-war politics of the forty years on cultural events so far focused mainly on the issues of dramaturgy and poetics, the process of ideological transformation and the sovietisation of art in the spirit of socialist realism. The subject of socialist emancipation and theatre was at the edge of the interest of our theatrology. Ten years ago, a collective monograph, dedicated to the first lady of the Slovak theatre directors, Magda Husaková-Lokvencová, managing to free her forgotten personality and work and return her to the context of Slovak theatre history in the second half of the 20th century. There is still room for further research, complementing the knowledge and reflection of the advent of women in the sphere of theatre directory, dramaturgy and scenography artwork, as part of the history of gender relations in Slovakia. Increased interest in the history of women provokes a new reflection on the issue of emancipation and theatre.