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Oct 26, 2016 7:00 PM


A opera recital by Czech opera singing sensations Adam Plachetka, Kateřina Kněžíková and Petr Nekoranec featuring the work of Leoš Janáček, moderated by musicologist Michael Beckerman.



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In collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera, the Czech Center New York presents a recital by Czech opera singers Adam Plachetka, Kateřina Kněžíková and Petr Nekoranec featuring the work of composer Leoš Janáček. The concert is presented in celebration of the Metropolitan Opera’s revival of Janáček’s riveting opera Jenůfa, which premieres there on October 28th - Czech National Day.

Respected musicologist and Janáček Medal winner Michael Beckerman will narrate the history of this prolific Czech composer and will provide an introduction to each piece. This concert is the perfect opportunity for opera lovers to expand their knowledge of Janáček's life and music before attending a performance at the Metropolitan Opera.

Valeria Polunina will accompany the performers on the piano. She is currently in the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and is the winner of numerous competitions including the London International Piano Competition, Russian Performing Art Scholarship Award and 2008 LYNN Concerto Competition.

Join us in the beautiful ballroom of Bohemian National Hall, a New York landmark building and one of Jo-Ann Elikan’s 111 Places That You Must Not Miss in New York.

Organized by the Czech Center New York in collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera, and presented under the auspices of the Consul General of the Czech Republic in New York.


Selected works from Janáček’s compositions

Petr Nekoranec will perform
The first six songs from The Diary of One Who Vanished

Kateřina Kněžíková will perform
Jenůfa´s Prayer
Moravian Folk Poetry in Songs (selection)

Adam Plachetka will perform
Moravian Folk Poetry in Songs (selection)
Cunning Little Vixen Final


Leoš Janáček - Composer 
Leoš Janáček (July 3, 1854 –  August 12, 1928) was a Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, publicist and teacher. He was inspired by Moravian and other Slavic folk music to create an original, modern musical style.

Until 1895 he devoted himself mainly to folkloristic research and his early musical output was influenced by contemporaries such as Antonín Dvořák. His later, mature works incorporate his earlier studies of national folk music in a modern, highly original synthesis, first evident in the opera Jenůfa, which was premiered in 1904 in Brno. The success of Jenůfa (often called the “Moravian national opera”) at Prague in 1916 gave Janáček access to the world’s great opera stages. His later works are his most celebrated. They include operas such as Káťa Kabanová, The Cunning Little Vixen, the Sinfonietta, the Glagolitic Mass, the rhapsody Taras Bulba, two string quartets, and other chamber works. Along with Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana, he is considered one of the most important Czech composers.


Adam Plachetka - Soloist
Adam Plachetka is an internationally known Czech bass-baritone who is currently performing as Leporello in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Don Giovanni. 

 He was educated at the conservatory in his native town of Prague. In addition to his many national competition victories, Adam won First Prize at the Antonín Dvořák`s International Vocal Competition.

In 2005 he made his debut at the National Theatre in Prague, since then he has appeared in Prague as Don Giovanni, Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Nardo (La finta giardiniera), Argante (Rinaldo) and Guglielmo (Cosí fan tutte), among others.

In September 2010 Adam became a member of the Ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper. After his debut as Schaunard (La bohéme), he moved on to roles such as Melisso (Alcina), Don Giovanni, Dulcamara (L'elisir d'amore), Figaro, Guglielmo, Publio (La clemenza di Tito), Mustafá (L`Italiana in Algeri) and Alidoro (La Cenerentola).

Adam`s engagements include appearances at the Salzburger Festspiele, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Pražské jaro, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Bruxelles, Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, Musikverein in Vienna, Festpielhaus Baden-Baden, Glyndebourne Festival, Deutsche Oper and Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Carnegie Hall in New York,  Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Wigmore Hall in London and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

He has taken part in recordings for Arte, Arthaus Musik, Česká televize, Český rozhlas, Deutsche Grammophon, Mezzo, Naxos, Orfeo, ORF and Supraphon.

Adam performs under the baton of such conductors as Alain Altinoglu, Marco Armiliato, Daniel Barenboim, Ivor Bolton, Bruno Campanella, John Fiore, Asher Fisch, Valery Gergiev, Friedrich Haider, Daniel Harding, Jakub Hrůša, Patrick Lange, Louis Langrée, Marc Minkowski, Riccardo Muti, John Nelson, Tomáš Netopil, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Robin Ticciati or Franz Welser-Möst.


Kateřina Kněžíková - Soloist

Kateřina Kněžíková is a soprano who has been a permanent cast member at the National Theatre in Prague since 2006.
She has won numerous competitions, including a prize at Antonín Dvořák International Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary. Her operatic engagements include Mozart and bel canto roles such as Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Despina (Cosí fan tutte), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), Norina (Don Pasquale), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Marguerite (Faust) and many others.

She has made numerous guest appearances at the F. X. Šalda Theatre Liberec, J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen, National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava, Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, Theatre de Caen, Opéra Royal de Versailles, Theatre Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels and Opéra de Dijon.

Her concert and operatic engagements have involved work with conductors such as S. Baudo, J. Bělohlávek, A. Fisch, J. Gaffigan, M. Guidarini, M. Honeck, H. M. Förster, J. Hrůša, R. Jindra, V. Luks, E. Mazzola, J. Nelson, T. Netopil and outstanding orchestras including BBC Symphony orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Collegium 1704, Czech Philharmonic, Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt am Main, PKF - Prague Philharmonia, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and many others.

She regularly appears at prestigious international festivals in the Czech Republic and abroad, including Dvořákova Praha International Music Festival, International Music Festival Janáček Máj, Prague Spring International Music Festival, International Opera Festival Smetana’s Litomyšl, St. Venceslav Music Festival, Strings of Autumn, Festival de La Chaise-Dieu, Festival Rencontres Musicales de Vétzelay, Festival Baroque de Pontoise, Music Bridge Prague – Dresden, Uckermärkische Musikwochen, Tage Alte Musik Regensburg etc.


Petr Nekoranec - Soloist

Petr Nekoranec is a tenor in the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. His 2014-2016 career highlights include: Opera Studio, title roles in Albert Herring, and Le Comte Orly, and Servitore in Martinu's Mirandolina; on the National Theatre's stage: Parpignol in Labohème, Albazar in Il turco in Italia, the Animal Trainer in Der Rosenkavalier, and an Officer inAriadne auf Naxos.

In 2012 he sang Vašek (Die verkaufte Braut) at the National Theatre of Prague under the direction of Jan Chalupecký. In 2013 he performed as Lindoro (L'Italiana in Algeri) at the Teatro Nuovo in Torino. With the Coro Filarmonico Veneto and the Orchestra Regionale Filarmonia Veneta he appeared on the concert stage in Mozart's requiem and the coronation mass.

Michael Beckerman – Musicologist

Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music, New York University; 
B. A. 1973, Hofstra University; M. Ph., 1978; M. A., 1976; Ph.D. 1982, Columbia.

Areas of Research/Interest
Czech and Eastern European music; Musical Form and Meaning; Film Music; Music of the Roma (Gypsies); Music and War; Music in the Concentration Camps; Jewish Music; Music and Disability

External Affiliations
Leonard Bernstein Scholar in Residence, New York Philharmonic, 2016-17; International Board of Governors, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, 2013-; Board of Directors, Czech Center, NY 2010-15; Vice-President, DAHA (Dvorák American Heritage Association) 2009-; Vice-President, American Musicological Society, 2010-12; Chairman, Jury for the International Melodrama Competition, Prague, 2006; Director of Research, OREL Foundation 2006-2008; Research Adviser, 2009- ; Board Member, Stanford Humanities Center; Board Member, IREX

Honorary Doctorate, Palacký University, Czech Republic, 2014. Golden Dozen Teaching Award, NYU 2013. George Estabrook Distinguished Alumnus Award, Hofstra University 2012. ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, 2006. Order of Merit, Czech Parliament, 2004. ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, 2004. Honorary Board if the Janácek Foundation, 2003. Special Citation from the Czech Parliament, 2003. Laureate of the Czech Music Council, 2000. Medal of the Dvorák Society, 1991. Medal of the Martinu Society, 1990. Janácek Medal of the Czech Ministry of Culture, 1988.

Select Publications
Books: Martinů's Mysterious Accident, ed., 2007 Pendragon Press. Janáček and His World, ed. Princeton University Press, 2003. New Worlds of Dvořák. W.W. Norton. 2003. Janáček and Czech Music, ed. Michael Beckerman andGlen Bauer, Pendragon Press, 1995. Janáček the Theorist. Pendragon Press, 1994. Dvořák and His World, ed. Princeton University Press, 1993.



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Oct 26, 2016 7:00 PM


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