The Best in the Month of Love in National Theater Brno: Two Major Festivals of Theater and Dance and Opera Under the Stars

In May, Brno will light up with two luminous highlights on a map of spring theater and dance festivals: Theater World Brno (“Divadelní svět Brno”, DSB) and DANCE BRNO. Opera under the stars – two classical opera pieces of Giuseppe Verdi in Špilberk park – are another strong magnet attracting Brno spectators this month. Photo: Ballet show Petite Mort. Credit: Ivan Pinkava // Courtesy of NdB.


Brno will be abuzz with art and life for several days from May 23 to May 28. The upcoming Theater World Brno is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and the organizers want to make it special. All Brno theaters have joined in an effort to bring the best from the home and international scenes. More than 500 guest performers will travel to Brno for this event. For more details, visit the English website of the festival; or, read our previous article that points to the English-friendly part of the program: Theater World – Dazzling International Event in Brno.

Theater World Brno: Dance show “Europe outside Europe”. Credit: Courtesy of DSB.

The first show with English subtitles to open the May program in Mahen theater is the Czech classic “Kerosene Lamps” (“Kerosenové lampy”), on Thursday, May 2. The story describes what happens when we are taken over by agonizing desire and fear – when a cousin marries a cousin; when an aging woman hopes to find love in the arms of a handsome man with a terrible secret. The message is that the greatest human heroism, is accepting our destiny.

On May 10, theater-goers can look forward to the popular story, “King’s Speech” (“Králova řeč”) in Mahen Theater – known also from the film starring Colin Firth. Based on a real story, King’s Speech describes King George VI’s efforts to overcome his nervous stammer with the assistance of a speech therapist, Lionel Logue.

Night of Fools, Mahen Theater. Credit: Courtesy of NdB.

A week later, on May 16, the same theater house will host an unusual comedy “Night of Fools” (“Noc bláznů”) by popular Australian playwright Louise Nowra. How does a young director at the beginning of his career deal with the task of rehearsing an opera by Mozart with a group of crazy people in a psychiatric hospital as part of their therapy? The Brno audience appreciated the Australian humour, and loved the NdB premiere on February 15. Don’t miss it!


Warm summer evenings are best spent listening to music under the stars – which is why for the fourth year running, the Janáček Opera NdB is bringing opera productions to the romantic surroundings of Špilberk Castle.

Don’t miss out on an unforgettable experience at Špilberk Castle, and choose from the eleven evening programmes on offer. Tickets are available online or at the National Theatre Brno’s Customer Centre (Dvořákova 11, Brno).

Giuseppe Verdi: Nabucco, 23 May, 1 Sep. 2019
Giuseppe Verdi: La traviata, 28 May, 30 Jun., 3 Sep. 2019
Gaetano Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore, 30 May 2019
Oskar Nedbal: Polish Blood, 4 Jul., 31 Aug. 2019
Giacomo Puccini: Tosca, 6 Jul. 2019
Georges Bizet: Carmen, 27 Aug. 2019
Gioachino Rossini: The Barber of Seville, 29 Aug. 2019

Is New York a bit out of hand for you? No worries. Enjoy the great performances of world stars in the comfort of Brno’s Reduta Theater! The streamed operas are with English and Czech subtitles – come to see the last opera streaming of the season in Reduta: Carmelite Dialogues (Dialogues des Carmélites; Dialogy Karmelitek in Czech) on May 11, 2019.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the classic John Dexter production of Francis Poulenc’s devastating story of faith and martyrdom. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sings the touching role of Blanche; soprano Karita Mattila, a legend in her own time, returns to the Met as the Prioress.


DANCE BRNO festival is certainly the biggest dance event of the month of love. The festival which will run from May 7 to June 24 in the Mahen and Janacek Theatres will feature  neoclassical and contemporary choreography from Lithuania, Slovenia, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Find the program in our previous article “DANCE BRNO 2019: International Festival of Contemporary and Classical Ballet to Take Place in Brno in May and June”.

National Ballet of Vilnius will present Der Prozess, a ballet adaptation of Franz Kafka’s classic tale of one man’s individuality being confronted by a faceless system. Credit: Courtesy of NdB.

As a part of the Petite Mort evening, a premiere of Walking Mad of renowned choreographer Johan Inger will take place on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at the Janáček Theater.

Jiří Kylián, the most renowned contemporary dance artist, is the author of the Petite Mort masterpiece – with dances for six men, six women and six cords. Choreographers, for whom Jiří Kylián is an example and who share a common experience in Nederlands Dans Theater under his direction, will present their works alongside this master during the evening.

Re-introducing the show after over an year-long renovation of the Janáček Theater, NdB Ballet newly includes Walking Mad of contemporary Swedish choreographer Johan Inger. His most famous choreography to Maurice Ravel’s Boléro music, is a symbolic path on which we are confronted with our own fears, desires, and last but not least, ease of being.

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