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May 8, 2015 7:00 PM


A documentary chamber opera about priest Josef Toufar, tortured to death by the Communist regime. Performed by the Czech National Opera.


Music and libretto by Aleš Březina. 60 min., without intermission.

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Priest Josef Toufar is arrested in January1950 after the Communist secret police (StB) accuses him of performing a hoax. According to witnesses a cross allegedly moved behind Toufar during mass on two separate occasions. Communist authorities use this event in a full-on campaign against the Church, viewed as one of its most powerful adversaries. The state prosecution accuses Toufar of homosexuality and pedophilia, using coerced testimonials. After weeks of being tortured and beaten by the StB, Toufar succumbs, and is buried in a mass grave under a false name. In the meantime, the Catholic Church establishes a “miracle commission” in an attempt to have Toufar canonized. The opera’s tragic drama unfolds between these two opposing forces.

Aleš Březina, is an award-winning Czech composer, musicologist and actor. He composed the scores for more than 20 films, including Czech box-office hits “I Served the King of England” (2006), “Divided We Fall”(2000) and “Buttoners”(1997).  His Opera “Tomorrow There Will Be” about the show trial of freedom fighter Milada Horakova, received the Alfréd Radok Award 2008 for best music. Aleš Březina got a second Alfréd Radok Award in 2010 for the music in Karel Čapek's drama The Makropulos Affair, staged by Robert Wilson at the National Theatre in Prague.

Organized by the Czech Center New York, Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York, Czech National Theater.


321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


May 8, 2015 7:00 PM


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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