Zuzanka Hraškovie/ Dido and Aeneas

Jozef GrešákHenry Purcell

Zuzanka Hraškovie/ Dido and Aeneas


Final performances of the 1st annual edition of the SND Opera Studio

The new SND building, Studio
9. 10. 2021 10. 10. 2021
The choice of the title is linked to the centenary the passing Slovak foremost poet, Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav. Zuzanka Hraškovie/ Dido and Aeneas bring together members of the SND Opera and Drama Company.
Jozef Grešák set to music the poetic text of a well-known Slovak ballad. The gem of classical Slovak poetry is an ideal foundation for musical-stage adaptation with emphasis on the situation. In the epic narrative, the tension sharply gradates with a dramatic climax. It bears a potent ethical idea. In terms of structure, it literally calls for adaptation. The composer's professional maturity is also reflected in form that lends extraordinary possibilities for the adaptation. The piece can be interpreted by a single vocalist and an organ, as well as by four soloists and an orchestra. In our choice, the characters can be combined and their parts adapted for an acting-singing performance.
In terms of content, this is a story about bullying that ends tragically. An epic story set in a village context focuses on little Zuzanka tormented by her stepmother. The girl, constantly bullied and beaten, sought solace to be found nowhere but at her mother's grave. One day, on her way home, she stopped by a mill and fell into the water. It carried Zuzanka to her mother, where she finally found the peace she so longed for.
Director/dramaturgy: Marek Mokoš
Set design: Barbora Šajgalíková
Musical preparation /conductor: Dušan Štefánek
Piano: Andrea Bálešová
For the first annual edition of the SND Opera Studio, the authors chose the motto “Baroque, as the time of the birth of the opera, opens the door to the SND Opera Studio.”. The choice is no coincidence. The authors and students at the SND Opera Studio wish to draw utmost possible knowledge from the cradle of the opera and to build upon its foundations in their development and professional growth.
This ancient myth is one of the immortal love stories that inspired many works of art. The story of the tragic love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, to the Trojan hero Aenas is inspiring. The theme, based on the fourth book of Virgil's epic Aeneas, became a master for over a hundred operatic adaptations, some of which are among the ground-breaking works in opera. These include the imperative English Baroque composer Henry Purcell. With his ability to capture in music the most subtle whims of human emotions, he gave the ill-fated Dido immortality. The theme raises the questions of why immortality is not given to the humans, and how difficult it is to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. The play focuses on the powerful legacy of self-sacrifice and self-giving out of love – for love.
Libretto: Nahum Tate
Director/dramaturgy: Marek Mokoš
Set design: Barbora Šajgalíková
Musical preparation /conductor: Peter Zajíček
Also featuring: Slovak Youth Orchestra
Music: Henry Purcell
Adaptation: Margaret Laurie & Thurston Dart
Running time: 2 hours with an interval


Zuzanka Hraškovie
Zuzanka Jana Vondrů
Commentator Matúš Šimko
Dido and Aeneas
Dido or Elissa, the Queen of Carthage Jarmila Balážová
Belinda, her sister Eva Esterková
Aeneas, Tojsan Prince Adam Nádler Matúš Šimko