Suchoň's The Whirlpool was composed between 1941 and 1949 and produced in the latter year. It has had an eventful history and in the 1950s was even modified to accommodate the political demands of those in power at the time. It has been staged with considerable success at all the opera venues in what was Czechoslovakia, as well as at many houses abroad (including in Budapest, Moscow, Berlin, Leipzig and Antwerp). The present production by noted film director Juraj Jakubisko is the fifth staging of the work to be presented at the Slovak National Theatre. ´The Whirlpool´ is set after the First World War in a small upland hamlet. The story is that of a young man driven by jealousy to commit murder. His crime opens the way to marriage to the girl he loves, but he is pursued by his conscience, which eventually leads him to confess his deed and surrender himself to the authorities. ´The Whirlpool´ is a ´national opera´ with traditional dances, customs and intimations of folk song; but it is also a riveting and psychologically well-worked drama. The conclusion brings dénouement but not the traditional happy ending of opera. It is simply the end of one particular episode in the life of people who have been for centuries at one with nature and who, from that very bond and from the faith passed down by their ancestors, draw their resilience and the strength to recover and to continue to bear their troubled lot.
Perfomance length: 3 hrs 10 mins one intermission