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The season 2020—21 will be inaugurated by one of the most famous works in the history of music, Handel’s Messiah, and this “messianic” spirit pervades the dramaturgy of the whole concert series. The unconventional programme of the Advent concert will recreate the atmosphere of Italian Baroque Christmas and we shall celebrate the arrival of the New Year with Mozart’s Coronation Mass.

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"Rolando meets Don Giovanni" in Prague accompanied by Collegium 1704 in new BBC documentary

Rolando meets Don Giovanni, © Václav SadílekRecently, Collegium 1704 took part in an exciting TV project: shooting of the BBC documentary about Mozart with superb Rolando Villazón as guide through the story. Premiére of the documentary is on Saturday, 26 April 2014 at 8:30 pm.

Don Giovanni had its premiere performance in Prague on October 29, 1787. Mozart’s vastly successful opera, based on the stories of legendary libertine Don Juan, delighted the city that had taken him to their hearts. But what brought them all, composer and audience, theatre manager and cast, to this time and place? Acclaimed tenor Rolando Villazon presents the story of one of the best-known operas of all time. Based in Prague, Rolando explores the run-up to that candle-lit first performance, looking at the music of the opera and the social setting in which it was first performed, before recreating in great detail the finale of the opera as it would have looked and sounded on that autumn evening: performed by Collegium 1704 under the baton of Václav Luks. More...


Rolando visits the Estates Theatre, where Mozart conducted Don Giovanni’s premiere. He works with local orchestra Collegium 1704, their conductor Václav Luks and opera singers Svatopluk Sem, Alžběta Poláčková, Fulvio Bettini and Jan Martiník, performing and dissecting the music of the opera. By singing and discussing key passages Rolando reveals Mozart’s genius as a composer and the revolutionary musical techniques he used. As he explores, we are able to grasp how Don Giovanni not only entertained the audience but terrified them by playing on the deepest fears of the 18th century; how different it would have sounded played on the instruments of the time; and how with this masterpiece Mozart went beyond the musical conventions of the day and created something unique. By talking with a range of experts and drawing on historical sources, Rolando brings to life the setting, costumes and audience and presents a detailed picture of the world in which the opera was first performed.

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Collegium 1704 o. p. s. Mánesova 813/4, 120 00 Praha 2 Tel: +420 246 052 456 E-mail: info@collegium1704.com