Cover New Paths in Opera

Helena Spurná, Kelly St. Pierre (eds.): New Paths in Opera. Martinů, Burian, Hába, Schulhoff, Ullmann, Wien: Hollitzer Verlag, in Kooperation mit dem tschechischen Verlag KLP, 2022, 328 S., 17 x 24 cm, English, Hardcover

ISBN 978-3-99094-008-2 (hbk) € 45,00

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Helena Spurná , Kelly St. Pierre

New Paths in Opera

Martinů, Burian, Hába, Schulhoff, Ullmann

Although Bohuslav Martinů (1890–1959), Emil František Burian (1904–1959), Alois Hába (1893–1973), Erwin Schulhoff (1894–1942), and Viktor Ullmann (1898–1944) were all composers with distinct artistic profiles, a number of various shared aspects can be found in their lives and works. Apart from a generational affinity, they also lived within the territory of Czechoslovakia and the wider Central European cultural context; and despite finding their own individual paths, they contributed together to the project of artistic modernity. This book looks at the opera production of the above-named composers, who all provided innovative solutions to the development of the genre.
The book consists of two parts. The first, “Essays”, provides historical-analytical perspectives on the operas of the aforementioned composers; the second, “Interviews & Reflections”, is dedicated to the applied  interpretation and performance of these works. In this part, a number of Czech and foreign artists share their own concrete experiences with the operas and outline the challenges they faced while doing so.


Editors’ Note and Acknowledgements

Preface (Helena Spurná et al.)


1. Geoffrey CHEW: A Bohemian in Paris, Dada, Film, and All that Jazz:
The Innovative Operas of Bohuslav Martinů and Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes

2. Helena SPURNÁ: The ‘Polydynamic’ Opera Bubu of Montparnasse by Emil
František Burian

3. Vlasta REITTEREROVÁ and Lubomír SPURNÝ: The Opera Utopianism of
Alois Hába

4. Gwyneth BRAVO and Brian S. LOCKE: Mortal Encounters, Immortal Rendez-
vous: Literary-Musical Counterpoints between Erwin Schulhoff’s Flammen and
Karel Josef Beneš’s Don Juan

5. Vlasta REITTEREROVÁ: The Challenge of Viktor Ullmann’s Operas



Six Observations on the Performance of Hába’s Microtonal Music (Lubomír Spurný)

The Opera Larmes de couteau Offers Great Challenges for a Stage Director (Matthew Jocelyn)

Martinů as a Gate into the Modern Era of Opera (Neal Goren)

On the Dramaturgy and My Directing of Martinů’s Larmes de couteau and Les Trois Souhaits (Jiří Nekvasil)

Stylistic Variety in Martinů’s Les Trois Souhaits Continues to Amaze (Jakub Klecker)

Around Prague... (Werner Herbers)

We Interpreted Don Juan as Our Contemporary (Andreas Bronkalla)

An Edition Cannot Be Prepared without a Practical Foundation (Andreas Krause)

In Ullmann’s Sturz des Antichrist, Music Leads the Way (Jan Antonín Pitínský)


APPENDIX: A List of Performances and Recordings: Czechoslovakia and the
Czech Republic

“Musica non grata” ... and Yet It Still Resounds
List of Figures
List of Music Examples
Index of Persons and Works