The opera, which the composer wrote at the age of 29, was not published or performed in Dvořák’s lifetime and this concert will be its premiere with the original German libretto (the first performance was in Czech).
Written in three acts, it tells the story of king Alfred the Great.
The opera will be performed by the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra and Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno under the baton of Heiko Mathias Förster on 17 September at Prague’s Rudolfinum (pictured above). It will also be recorded for the first time.
The festival’s artistic director, Marek Vrabec says: ‘Our priority is to cultivate the whole bequest of the musical genius whose name our festival bears, and that means a commitment to aim far beyond the usual framework of his well-known works in our programming. Therefore we decided to present in this year’s festival an unknown work of his that has never yet sounded as he wrote it.’
The festival will also feature Dvořák’s odd numbered symphonies (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9) performed by the Musica Florea, the Czech Philharmonic and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra respectively. There will also be a chamber music series curated by cellist Jiří Bárta which features music by different composers including Mozart to Schoenberg.
Jan Lisiecki and sisters Christina and Michelle Naughton will give piano recitals on 19 September as part of the festival’s Debuts series, which supports young classical musicians.