John Fulljames treats every opera that he directs in a completely innovative way. Currently directing The Adventures of Mr Brouček by Leoš Janáèek for Opera North, here he gives you five reasons why you should see this this modern day Mr Benn and his wild and wacky adventures at the Lowry.
1. The Composer:
Janacek was probably the greatest opera composer of the twentieth century and this opera contains some of his best music; the first half is full of dances and the second is bursting with patriotic hymns. Janacek took ten years to write it and in so doing he really found his style so it is a must see if you’ve enjoyed his other operas.
2. Time Travel:
There aren’t many operas which involve both time-travel and space-travel! Mr Broucek is the operatic version of Dr Who – he travels to the moon and then goes back in time to the 15th Century. The stories are satirical and comic.
3. A Brilliant leading man:
John Graham-Hall who plays Mr Broucek is one of the lbest eading actor singers in the world – it takes a performance of his stature to master Janacek’s fiendish music and the challenge of creating a Falstaff-like character, who is loved and mocked by the audience in equal measure. It is rare to see such an accomplished singing and acting performance.
4. The Orchestra:
The orchestra of Opera North is one of the best kept secrets about music in England – and this piece shows them at their best. Janacek’s writing demands virtuosic playing both from individuals and the ensemble. Listen out for the oboe pretending to be a bagpipe and to the brass section in the music for the journeys to and from the moon (John Williams eat your heart out).
5. Blink and you'll miss it!
It really is a once in a lifetime chance (unless you can dream yourself through time and space back to the Lowry in 2009). This is the first time in England that it has ever been performed outside London.
The Adventures of Mr Brouček is at the Lowry for one night only on Thurs 12th November. For further details, please visit the Opera North website.