King Arthur © Herwig Prammer | Theater an der Wien
King Arthur © Herwig Prammer | Theater an der Wien


MARTINA JANKOVÁ in "King Arthur" at the Theater an der Wien

Henry Purcell’s King Arthur is a typical British semi-opera, in which acting, musical theatre and dance form an almost magical symbiosis, in which high art of great seriousness effortlessly mixes with humorous elements and spectacular show effects. While the main figures are played by actors, pagan rituals, moments of blissful love, but also magical battles and various phenomena of nature provide opportunities for many a fantastical, supernatural effect, and especially for impressive musical tableaus with vocal soloists and chorus.

It is especially this combination of acting and singing that Martina Janková enjoys particularly about the work. She will also perform in both capacities: on the one hand, she embodies Philidel, a spirit of the air who has switched sides and is now of King Arthur’s and his magician Merlin’s party, and has both spoken text and vocal lines. Cupid and Venus, on the other hand, are exclusively singing roles.

Berlin’s State Opera Unter den Linden originated the production by Sven-Eric Bechtolf and Julian Crouch, in which the actual tale of King Arthur, who clashes with the Saxon King Oswald over the rule over England and the love of the blind Emmeline, is embedded in an intriguing, 20th-century framework narrative. Either way, it is the eternal struggle between good and bad that is the focus – and needless to say, the heroic “British Worthy” emerges triumphant, for the general good.


Martina Janková, Philidel, Cupid, Venus

Michael Rotschopf, Arthur
Jörg Gudzuhn, Merlin / Grandfather
Tom Radisch, Grimbald
Steffen Scheumann, Aurelius
Meike Droste, Emmeline / Mother
Sigrid Maria Schnückel, Matilda
Oliver Stokowski, Osmond

Director: Sven-Eric Bechtolf
Director & Sets: Julian Crouch
Costumes: Kevin Pollard
Lighting: Olaf Freese
Video: Joshua Higgason
Choreography: Gail Skrela

Arnold Schoenberg Chorus
Concentus Musicus Vienna
Conductor: Stefan Gottfried