G. F. Händel: Terpsichore

Opera-ballet at the unique Baroque Theatre – including period gastronomy

Friday 26/7 2019, 19:30

Baroque Theatre

G. F. Händel: Terpsichore

Opera-ballet at the unique Baroque Theatre
including period gastronomy


Irena Troupová – soprano (Erató)
Dagmar Šašková – alto (Apollo)
Lenka Kantorová / Blanka Ferjentsik Wernerová – Baroque dance (Terpsichore)

Musica Florea, artistic director: Marek Štryncl
Sylva Čmugrová
(alto), Alena Hellerová (soprano), Eliška Minářová (soprano), Václav Buršík (tenor), Josef Kovačič (bass)

Dance component: Hartig Ensemble, artistic leader: Helena Kazárová
Michaela Bartlová, Barbora Fišerová, Anna Slaninová, Václav Krajc, Miroslav Stehlík

Choreography, direction: Helena Kazárová
Assistant director: Ladislav Beneš
Costume designer: Roman Šolc

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Pastoral pot-pourri from famous compositions by A. Campra, J. B. Lully, J. F. Rebel and others


G. F. Händel: Terpsichore (opera-ballet)


G. F. Händel lived and was active in the period known as “century of dance” – instrumental music and dance were probably never before or after so closely connected as in the 18th century. At the time musical compositions originated according to rhytmical patterns above all of French dances which were danced at balls as well as at theatres. Rebel’s composition Les caractères de la danse, which premiered in 1715 and consists of eleven popular Baroque dances from the ball and theatre repertoire, each a refined miniature, presented in the modest musical space of nine minutes, became a manifesto of the variedness of these forms. Dance masters of the 18th century often created new ball dances also on the basis of popular opera melodies which were before played at the theatre and simpler theatre dances became fashionable as opening dances at balls. Thus a cosmopolitan culture of a high level was created in entire Europe. Graphic notation of choreographies, the so-called Beauchamp–Feuillet notation, distributed in printed also contributed to that. In accordance with Händel’s idea, in our performance we would like to present this ever fresh and fascinating world of beautiful melodies and rich rhythms as part of pastoral scenes in which the muse of dance Terpsichore (at the time personified by dancer Marie Sallé) and the muse of love songs Erató (originally sung by Anna Maria Strada) reign and in the second half of the evening Apollo himself (during the premiere in 1734 portrayed by the famous Giovanni Carestini) will come to check things out. A beautiful journey to Baroque Arcadia!

About artists

Leading Czech soprano Irena Troupová first won international renown in the field of historically informed performance of old music. Since the 1990s, when she lived in Berlin, she has performed on stages all around Europe, has cooperated with T. Hengelbrock, H. Arman, J. Rifkin, the ensemble Orpheon and others, in the Czech Republic with J. Tůma, B. M. Willi, M. Knoblochová, the ensembles Ensemble Tourbillon, Musica Florea and many others. She gradually extended her repertoire to include romantic and modern songs and opera works. She has made an appearance in the cycles of FOK, Czech Philharmonic and PKF, with the Pilsen Philharmonic and Hradec Králové Philharmonic Orchestra, repeatedly at the Prague Spring, Janáček May and others. She participated in the internationally recognized recording of the opera by B. Marinů “Le jour de bonté” for the Arco Diva label. Under this label she also released a collection of songs by Viktor Ullmann (Schwer ist’s, das Schöne zu lassen) and orchestral songs by Geraldine Mucha. She cooperates with ensembles for contemporary music (BCO with P. Šnajdr, BERG Orchestra, Prague Modern, Konvergence and others) and with contemporary composers – M. Kopelent, J. Dušek, P. Koeszeghy, M. Štědroň and others. She also dedicates herself to the legacy of interwar authors (Schulhoff, von Hannenheim, Herschkowitsch and others) and gives concerts both in the Czech Republic (recital Prague Spring 2018) and abroad (Bayreuth, Berlin, Munich).


Mezzosoprano Dagmar Šašková comes from Rakovník. She studied solo singing at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen and at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts in Brno and Baroque singing at the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. As a soloist she cooperates with the ensembles Akadêmia, Il Festino, Le Poème Harmonique, Le Concert Brisé, Collegium 1704, La Fenice, Les Paladins, Pygmalion, La Reverencia, Simphonie du Marais and Musica Florea. With them she has recorded 15 CDs of Italian, French and German Baroque music. She made her debut in the role of Corisande in Lully’s opera Amadis in Avignon. She interpreted the role of Melanto in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and Music and The Messenger in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. She played Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. She performed the roles of Vénus, Zäide and Olympia in L’Europe galante by André Campra at the Konzerhaus in Vienna. At the philharmonic in Paris she sang the role of Aurora in the opera Il mondo alla roversa by Baldassare Galuppi. She taught Baroque singing in New Delhi, Santiago de Chile and in the Korean city of Seoul.         


Lenka Kantorová graduated from classical dance at the Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava and appeared in several ballet and operetta performances at the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre already during her studies. At present she is studying at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where she got acquainted with historically informed interpretation. She became a member of the Hartig Ensemble, where she has been active for the last five years. She is a versatile dancer whose assets include technical accuracy, allegro brilliance and fine musical sentiment. She focuses both on lyrical repertoire as well as on character, dynamic and dramatic roles. She has taken part in a variety of premieres with the ensemble both in the Czech Republic and abroad (Poland, Germany, Austria etc.).  The repertoire which she was involved in includes, for example, Ballo delle ingrate by C. Monteverdi, Didone abbandonata by G. Angiolini, La guirlande enchantée by J. Starzer, La Danza by C. W. Gluck, Terpsichore by G. F. Händel, Kirké by V. Praupner and others.


Blanka Ferjentsik Wernerová studied violin at the Prague Conservatory and at the same time dedicated herself to dance from her childhood and participated in Latin American dance competitions. She graduated from dance at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where she became a member of the Hartig Ensemble and soon started dancing solo parts. Thanks to her expressional versatility her repertoire ranges from lyrical expression through temperamental drama to comicality. Together with the ensemble she has participated in a number of dance projects both in the Czech Republic and abroad (Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Austria etc.). Besides the role of Terpsichore in G. F. Händel’s opera-ballet of the same name (which she took over from prima ballerina Barbora Kohoutková) her greatest achievements include the title role of Didó in G. Angiolini’s ballet Didone abbandonata, Terpsichore in Beethoven’s ballet Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus and others. She is able to perform an ample repertoire of Baroque dances recorded in the Beauchamp-Feuillet notation. She has also danced in films and on TV.

The ensemble Musica Florea was founded in 1992 as one of the first important feats in the field of historically informed performance in the Czech Republic. It was founded by violoncellist and conductor Marek Štryncl. Playing original instruments or their copies, studying period sources and aesthetics, own research activity and creative reviving of forgotten interpretative styles and means have become essential characteristic features of the ensemble. The ensemble’s repertoire includes instrumental chamber music, both secular and sacred vocal-instrumental compositions, orchestral concerts as well as monumental symphonic, opera and oratorial works from the beginning of the Baroque period till the 20th century. Musica Florea performs at important world festivals, cooperates with notable soloists and ensembles and has received a number of prestigious awards. Since 2002 the ensemble has been organizing its own concert series with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the capital city of Prague, during which it focuses on the presentation of newly discovered as well as famous compositions which deserve to be interpreted in an original way.


Conductor, violoncellist, choirmaster and composer Marek Štryncl held the post of concertmaster of the North Czech Philharmonic Teplice already during his studies at the conservatory in Teplice. He graduated from conducting (2002) at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and studied Baroque violoncello at the Dresdner Akademie für alte Musik. He also attended a number of classes focused on style interpretation. Marek Štryncl cooperates with important chamber and symphony orchestras, choirs, ensembles and soloists (for example Magdaléna Kožená, Phillipe Jaroussky, The New Israeli Vocal Ensemble, Boni Pueri, Orlando Consort, Prague Chamber Choir, Les Musiciens du Paradis, Prague Chamber Philharmonic…). His repertoire includes works from the Early Baroque to Romanticism and contemporary compositions. In 1992 the interest in period interpretation led Marek Štryncl to the founding of the ensemble Musica Florea, with which he has been performing mainly works by authors from  Czech Baroque, classicism and Romanticism. He is the program advisor of regular concert series in Prague and all around the Czech Republic. He has made an appearance at prestigious festivals (for example, Prague Spring, Festival van Vlaanderen Brugge, Tage alter Musik Sopron, Tage alter und neuer Musik Regensburg, Strings of Autumn, Concentus Moraviae). He has recorded tens of CDs many of which have received top awards (Diapason 1994, Golden Harmony 1997, Cannes Classical Award 2003). His enchantment with the principles of Baroque theatre induced him to create the unique travelling Baroque theatre Florea Theatrum. 


The Hartig Ensemble is a free grouping of professional dancers who have been focusing on the interpretation of dances of “three centuries”, i.e. from late Renaissance to early Romanticism, including Spanish dances (“escuela bolera”) for a number of years under the leadership of Prof. Helena Kazárová Ph.D. The ensemble closely cooperates with the department of dance of the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague based in the Hartig Palace in the Lesser Quarter in Prague, where the ensemble also rehearses. It is a chamber orchestra, but it often also invites guests, important personalities of the world of dance. Since its foundation in 1997 the ensemble has cooperated with a number of musicians and ensembles which dedicate themselves to historically informed interpretation and together they have started discovering forgotten repertoire which consists of both ball dances (suitable also as ceremonial opening dances) and virtuosic theatre dances, dance acts in operas from the 17th and 18th century and individual ballet works. Since the beginning of its activity the ensemble has been restoring dances according to preserved historical sources (e.g. Baroque dances according to graphic records in the so-called Beauchamp–Feuillet notation). These reconstructed dances are the basis of chamber programs.


Prof. Helena Kazárová, Ph.D. specializes in the movement culture of the past centuries both practically and theoretically. In the field of Baroque dance, she studied and cooperated with numerous international specialists, above all with Marc Leclerq. She dedicates herself to period interpretation means (gestures and movement on stage) in the repertoire of the 17th and 18th century and uses such knowledge for staging works of musical theatre from the Baroque to the Preromantic period. She has been cooperating with the Musica Florea orchestra for ten years already and together with this orchestra and others she has produced a large number of theatre projects as well as opera and ballet works which were presented at prestigious festivals both in the Czech Republic and abroad: Armida (G. Scarlatti), Didone abbandonata (G. Angiolini), Terpsichore (G. F. Händel), La danza (Ch. W. Gluck), Costanza e fortezza (J. J. Fux), Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus (L. van Beethoven), Dioclesian (H. Purcell), Der aus der Löwengrübe errettete Daniel (G. Ph. Telemann), Mozartiana and others. She is a professor at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Since 1997 she has been the artistic director of the Hartig Ensemble – Dances and Ballets of Three Centuries, which she founded. She is an author of two books about Baroque dance and ballet and of many specialist studies and is regularly invited to international conferences as a researcher.   

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