In the company of the three women who played crucial roles in his life, Hrabal lays bare his innermost feelings, freely guiding us through them against the backdrop of the history of the second half of the 20th century. Assisting him on his voyage is a chorus of his beloved cats and a flock of pigeons, with the latter bearing witness to his very final moments before his fall from the window of the Bulovka hospital in Prague. The over one hour long piece combines a variety of musical styles and rhythms, ranging from jazz, pop and dance to the modern opera idiom. The story blends elements of everydayness with absurdity and black humour.
Besides composing, the contemporary Czech artist Miloš Orson Štědroň also writes texts which he sets to music, with the fruit of his work being remarkable cross–genre music-theatre projects. He has paid systematic attention to distinguished Czech figures (Ivan Blatný, Jaroslav Hašek, František Kupka, Josef Gočár, Jan Hus, Johann Gregor Mendel, Václav Havel, Jan Zábrana, Josef Škvorecký). Don Hrabal is Orson’s second opera, following A Human Tragicomedy, inspired by the writer/philosopher Ladislav Klíma’s drama, which premiered at the Estates Theatre in 2003.
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