Martinu : Julietta, 3 fragmentsBerlin, Philharmonie Berlin, 2010 (Audio)
Director: Tomas Netopil
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In the same concert:
Dvorak: simphony nr 7
Julietta is an opera by Bohuslav Martinu, who also wrote the libretto, in French, based on the play Juliette, ou La clÃ© des songes (Juliette, or The Key of Dreams) by the French author Georges Neveux. A libretto in Czech was later prepared. There are two principal roles: Julietta (soprano) and Michel (tenor).
The opera received its first performance at the National Theatre, Prague on 16 March 1938, with Ota HorakovÃ¡ in the title role and VÃ¡clav Talich conducting.
The UK premiere was in April 1978 in London by the New Opera Company, in an English translation.
A production by the Bielefeld Opera in Germany conducted by Geoffrey Moull received eight performances in 1992. James Helmes Sutcliffe remarked in Opera News on "Martinu's beautiful score" and on his "lyrical, atmospheric music".
Martinu began to prepare a concert work from the opera, "Three Fragments from Julietta", with changes to the original vocal lines, after the opera's premiere, after his return to Paris. However, the outbreak of World War II interrupted his work, and his own labours on this composition continued until his death in 1959. The score was lost after MartinÅ¯'s death, until 2002, when AleÅ¡ BÅ™ezina discovered the piano reduction of the score among a private collection of papers.
After BÅ™ezina returned to Prague to have this adapted into a full orchestral score, the Czech publishing firm DILIA revealed that a full score already existed in their archives.
Sir Charles Mackerras conducted the world premiere of the "Three Fragments from Julietta" with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in December 2008.