Bohuslav Martinů - The Greek Passion
Television film of the opera by Bohuslav Martinů based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis "Christ Recrucified"
Written and directed by Tomáš Šimerda, camera Martin Kubala
Czech Television Prague, Supraphon 2000
Soloists - John Mitchinson, Helen Field, John Tomlinson, Catherine Savory and other soloists of the Welsh National Opera, Cardiff, Prague Philharmonic Choir / Josef Veselka, Kühn Children's Chorus / Jiří Chvála, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Sir Charles Mackerras
Sung in English, subtitles: Czech, German, French
Martinů wrote his own libretto for the opera Greek Passion based on Christ Recrucified (1951), a novel by Nikos Kazantzakis. The opera was written in between 1955-57 and it cost Martinů alot of effort to achieve the final version. It was premiered in Zurich in 1961, after the death of the author. The story takes place in the Greek countryside; refugees from a village plundered by Turks come to the town-square and ask for asylum. However, they are wrathfully refused by most of the selfish villagers. This story line blends with the preparation of passion-play inthe village. The roles of the approaching Passion raise the minds of the actors to another level and slowly change their lives. Typically for Martinů - the lines between reality and fantasy often become blurred and disappear. The intriguing film is based on the benchmark recording of Sir Charles Mackerras made in 1981 with number of excellent soloists mostly from the Welsh NationalOpera in Cardiff.