The Makropulos Affair (opera)

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Šárka (1887)
The Beginning of a Romance (1894)
Jenůfa (1904)
Osud (1907)
The Excursions of Mr. Brouček to
the Moon and to the 15th Century
(1920)
Káťa Kabanová (1921)
The Cunning Little Vixen (1924)
The Makropulos Affair (1926)
From the House of the Dead (1930)

The Makropulos Affair (or The Makropoulos Case, or The Makropulos Secret or, literally, The Makropulos Thing), (Czech Věc Makropulos) is a three-act opera by the Czech composer Leoš Janáček. The libretto, based on a play of the same name by Karel Čapek, was written by the composer between 1923 and 1925.

The Makropulos Affair was his penultimate opera and, like much of his later work, it was inspired by his infatuation with Kamila Stösslová, a married woman much younger than himself.

The world premiere of the opera was given at the National Theatre in Brno on December 18, 1926, conducted by František Neumann.

Contents

Composition

Janáček's operatic version was written between 1923 and 1925. He had seen the play early in its run in Prague on 12 December 1922, and immediately saw its potential. He entered into a correspondence with Čapek, who was accommodating towards the idea, although legal problems in securing the rights to the play delayed work. When these problems were cleared on 10 September 1923, Janáček began work on the opera straight away. He wrote the libretto himself, and by December 1924 had completed the first draft of the work. He spent another year refining the score, before completing it on 3 December 1925.

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