Top Pick: Opera Premiere of Tchaikovsky's Maid of Orleans

The opera Maid of Orleans will mark the first opera by Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky without a Russian theme ever to be performed at the Slovak National Theatre. While the dramatic story of Joan of Arc, the patron saint of France, has received popularity around the world, inspiring several movie versions including the 1999 major motion film starring Mila Jovovic, this will mark the epic drama's first performance in Slovakia's national opera house.
The opera tells the well-known story of Joan of Arc, who was born in the 15th century. As a young girl, Joan hears the voices of saints urging her to go to the French King's generals with a military plan when war breaks out between France and England. Surprisingly, under her leadership the demoralised French troops regroup, battling to a heroic victory. But eventually, Joan is captured by the English and sentenced to death at the stake, charged with witchcraft and heresy.


Klaudia Dernerová as the Maid of Orleans.
photo: Courtesy SND

The opera Maid of Orleans will mark the first opera by Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky without a Russian theme ever to be performed at the Slovak National Theatre. While the dramatic story of Joan of Arc, the patron saint of France, has received popularity around the world, inspiring several movie versions including the 1999 major motion film starring Mila Jovovic, this will mark the epic drama's first performance in Slovakia's national opera house.

The opera tells the well-known story of Joan of Arc, who was born in the 15th century. As a young girl, Joan hears the voices of saints urging her to go to the French King's generals with a military plan when war breaks out between France and England. Surprisingly, under her leadership the demoralised French troops regroup, battling to a heroic victory. But eventually, Joan is captured by the English and sentenced to death at the stake, charged with witchcraft and heresy.

Written in 1881, the opera Maid of Orleans was initially not as well-received as Tchaikovsky's other works, such as Eugen Onegin or Pique Dame, and was therefore performed only occasionally. Not until the second half of the 20th century did it begin to garner significant interest around the world.

Now it is Slovakia's turn. Directed by Marian Chudovský, and performed by the Slovak Orchestra and the Choir of the Slovak National Theatre's Opera, this Russian composition under the baton of conductor Rastislav Štúr will open March 2 at Slovenské národné divadlo (Slovak National Theatre) on Hviezdoslavovo námestie 1.

The role of Joan will be shared by Klaudia Dernerová and Jana Fogašová.

The March 2 premiere will be followed by a second performance on March 3. Both performances begin at 19:00.

The tickets cost 50 to 300 Slovak crowns, and can be bought in advance at the theatre's ticket office on Komenského námestie (behind the opera house at the entrance to Hviezdoslavovo Square), Monday-Friday 8:00-17:30 and on Saturday 9:00-13:00. Tel: 5443 3764.


By Zuzana Habšudová

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