What do Elina Makropoulos, born in Crete in 1575, 1820s’ Ellian MacGregor, Eugenia Montez, born fifty years later, and gorgeous opera singer Emilia Marty – who drives enamoured men mad in 1912, when the story takes place – have in common ? Two initials: E and M. For all of them are one, a woman sentenced to eternal life after drinking the elixir of immortality her father invented over 300 years ago. What does living mean, when you have lived it all, felt it all, learnt it all ? When time and recurrence atone all emotions, desires, pleasures, leaving nothing but listlessness and boredom ? Emilia Marty’s latest lover says she is cold as a corpse. She barely quivers upon the return of old Hank, her lover from fifty years earlier, or when she mentions Baron Jaroslav Prus, the love of her oh-so-long life –two events which make up the climax of the piece. And there is Krista, too, the young singer, the beginner, with all her talent and passion. It may be thanks to Krista that Elina can finally die and reach true eternity through.
Opera in 3 acts
Libretto by the composer, based on the comedy by Karel Kapek
First performed in Brno in 1926
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