The Cross of Zavis, Musical from Czech History
First Night Show: 2016 Divadlo Na Rejdišti, stage director: Gustav Skála
Recording and Music staging: Michal Šinka (MIDI orchestration), Pavel Vaněk (choirs) a Jana Balašová Trčková (musical staging of the solo roles)
Music: Pavel Trojan, Libreto and Lyrics: Gustav Skála
"Pavel Trojan is one of the most important authors of contemporary music. In addition to his extensive composition Missa solemnis for solo, organ and orchestra, he has also composed, for example, the opera There Were Five of Us, which was performed at the prestigious Prague Spring Festival in May 2003 in a musical setting by Miriam Němcová and directed by Martin Otava; ten years later, his opera The Shepherd's Opera graced the same festival. Gustav Skala probably needs no long introduction to our readers, as a director, choreographer, dramaturge and editor he has participated in a number of operetta and musical productions in almost all Czech musical theatres. He has directed Mamzelle Nitouche in Pardubice, the Municipal Theatre in Brno and the Karlín Music Theatre, Vienna Blood in Pilsen, My Fair Lady in Olomouc, Polish Blood in Karlín, Orfeo in the Underworld in Brno and Barták's musical Around the World in 80 Days in Zvolen, Slovakia. And so on and so forth - he has been involved in drama, musical theatre and opera.
The composer Pavel Trojan has been exploring the idea of a musical from history for a long time. In the end, he was attracted by the story of Záviš of Falkenštejn, a knight who won the love of the queen and an exceptional position in the country. Eventually, thanks to the whispers of many schemers, his stepson King Wenceslas II had him executed at Hluboká. Trojan used his previous experience with symphonic music and opera and for the new musical he chose the form of a pop-rock opera with a minimum of spoken word. This clearly benefited the overall shape of the work, and at the same time this concept suited the performers themselves - students of popular singing, not acting.
Trojan's music is also the most interesting attribute of the new work. His melodies are singable, one might even say likeable, but by no means underwhelming. The songs arch into larger, well-composed units that are melodically and rhythmically very interesting. A clear hit is missing, but that doesn't matter too much. The music of Záviš's Cross proves that even a composer of so-called contemporary classical music, not just a hitmaker, can succeed in the musical field, as long as he attempts a clear musical message and does not discard melody."
From Vítězslav Sladky's review on www.musical-opereta.cz after the premiere.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)