Smetana‘s Litomyšl Festival
After the Prague Spring, Smetana‘s Litomyšl International Opera Festival is the oldest music festival and the largest open-air classical music festival in the Czech Republic.
Since 1949, a great music festival has been organized almost each year between the end of June and the beginning of July in Litomyšl, an old East-Bohemian town where Bedřich Smetana - the founder of Czech national music - was born. It mainly presents opera performances and concert versions of operas, but gala concerts, oratorios, cantatas and song evenings are also included - i.e. all those forms in which vocal artistry is dominating. Symphonic, instrumental or chamber music is not put aside either; ballet and cathedral or promenade concerts find their space here as well. Performers include important guests from abroad (Katia Ricciarelli, Sherill Milnes, Thoma Hampson and Sergei Larin among others), foremost Czech soloists (Eva Urbanová, Dagmar Pecková and Magdalena Kozena), ensembles (National Theatre Prague, Czech Philharmonic, Prague Symphonics, Prague Philharmonia, National Theatre Brno, State Philharmonic Brno, Slovak National Theatre Bratislava and Slovak Philharmonic) and renowned conductors - such as Jiří Bělohlávek, Libor Pešek, Isaiah Jackson, Ondrej Lenárd and Caspar Richter.
The festival's main center is right on the premises of the magnificent Litomyšl State Castle, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage in 1999. Main events normally take place in the Second Courtyard, with excellent acoustics and unique retractable roofing. Other venues include different Castle halls, Litomysl churches and cathedrals, the Smetana's House, the city of Pardubice - capital of the region - and one other selected city of the region.
Your trip to Smetana's Litomyšl is sure to be a brilliant experience - apart from interesting repertoire and top performances at the festival itself, Litomysl offers an opportunity to stay out of the metropolitan hustle and bustle, yet in a town with an extraordinary genius loci.
Organisers: Pardubice Region, the City of Litomyšl and the Smetana´s Litomyšl Endowment
Date of event: Annually: 20 - 25 days at the end of June and beginning of July
Concert and performance venues:
Litomyšl State Castle - 2nd Courtyard with retractable roofing (1,299 seats)
Litomyšl State Castle - Amphitheatre (2,198 seats)
Litomyšl State Castle - Small Baroque Theatre (135 seats)
Litomyšl State Castle - Audience Hall (168 seats)
Church of the Raising of the Holy Cross (480 seats)
Smetana House (487 seats)
Smetana‘s Litomyšl International Opera Festival is a member of the Czech Association of Music Festivals.