The Diary of One Who Disappeared
Reduced to ash
In 1917, the Czech composer Leoš Janáček wrote Zápisník zmizelého: ‘The Diary of One Who Disappeared’. This spirited tale in verse is about a village lad who gives up everything to follow a mysterious gypsy girl. Janáček is in fact projecting his ardent desire for his muse Kamila Stösslová onto this composition for tenor, alto, female voice choir and piano. Later, he writes to her: “There is so much emotion in this work, so much fire, that if it touched us we would both be reduced to ash.”
The resulting 22-scene song cycle is a delicate mix of cruelty and tenderness, which is typical of Janáček’s poetry. With his minimalism he penetrates through to the essence of the music, and even seems to be heralding the end of the opera genre. Annelies Van Parys, Transparant’s in-house composer, has composed an answer to Janáček’s piece.
• Ivo Van Hove, director and artistic director at Toneelgroep Amsterdam, is a familiar face at Kaaitheater. Last season, he premiered De andere stem at Kaaistudios. Over the past few years, he has also presented numerous large theatre productions, ranging from Maria Stuart to Na de repetitie/Persona and Angels in America. He also created two rock solid Mozart productions at De Munt/La Monnaie: Idomeneo and La Clemenza di Tito.
composition Leoš Janáček, Annelies Van Parys | director Ivo van Hove | set design, lighting Jan Versweyveld | costumes An D’Huys | dramaturgy Krystian Lada | tenore Ed Lyon | mezzo Marie Hamard | actor Hugo Koolschijn | piano Lada Valesova | singers from the La Monnaie Choral Academy | production Muziektheater Transparant | co-production Klarafestival, De Munt/La Monnaie, Kaaitheater, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Operadagen Rotterdam, Beijing Music Festival | co-presentation De Munt/La Monnaie