• Genre Musical
  • Stage Music Theatre
  • Premiere18. June 2016
  • Length2:30 hod.
  • Number of reprises21
  • Final performance11. April 2019

the musical ballad returns

It isn´t very common for our theatre to re-perform previously-staged works. However, there are productions which certainly deserve to return to the stage and we believe that there are also spectators who will be excited to see their renewal. One such piece is certainly the musical ballad based on the well-known poetic fairytale drama Radúz and Mahulena by Julius Zeyer, which had its world premiere on 8th November 1997. It was performed until 2002, seeing 91 repeats: 36 295 spectators were enchanted by the intimate story in which Markéta Sedláčková, Petr Gazdík, Zdena Herfortová, Ladislav Kolář, Igor Ondříček, Petr Štěpán and Stanislav Slovák starred – yes, they were there, even back then. These are actors who today are still distinct personalities at our theatre, and whose popularity was formed thanks to this production, as well as others, of course. The spectators left the theatre with their heads full of Petr Ulrych’s unforgettable melodies and Stanislav Moša’s beautiful texts, and can still hear them in their minds even today. There are many people who still find themselves singing “... two kingdoms clash in hatred, each striving to bring the other to its knees. Before Radúz and Mahulena are born!” or “Prince of Magura, I will throw you to the rats! What was beautiful to you will become the past forever!

This time, the immortal story of the prohibited love between the members of two feuding families is based on a Slovak folk fairy tale, though the motif is probably even older as different variations exist, including a version by the Brothers Grimm, and an Indian epic. There is thus no doubt that even today it offers a topical theme which gives contemporary audiences the chance to experience a romantic story about a love which (if you will just accept this cliché, which is appropriate here, however) moves mountains and breaks stone.



Directed by

Assistant director



Music production



Assistant choreography

  • Hana Vašáková

Music supervision

  • Petr Ulrych


  • Zdeněk Helbich

Sound Direction

  • Milan Vorlíček

Program a plakát

  • Klára Latzková, Jef Kratochvil, Tino Kratochvil, Adéla Kučerová, Petr Hloušek

Light direction

  • David Kachlíř

Technologická spolupráce

  • Lubomír Spáčil


Jaroslav Štěpaník 7. August 2016 zdroj www.brnozurnal.cz

(…) Almost twenty years later, a new version of Radúz and Mahulena came to the summer stage at the Bishop´s Courtyard. (...) The exceptionally charming “open air” environment of the Bishop´s Courtyard certainly adds impressiveness and power to the productions shown there. (...) The music, which was specially composed by Petr Ulrych for this piece, is great. It excellently suits this balladic story in which the lyrical prevails over the epic. The folk-inflected melodies musically accentuate the flow of events in Ulrych´s distinctive and contemporary tonal conception. The music for Radúz and Mahulena is certainly one of the best works to come out of Ulrych’s “workshop”; it combines organically and well with Stanislav Moša´s text. (...) The choreography functionally contributes to the great overall impact and emotive force of the work. The fairy-tale atmosphere, redolent with secrets, is strengthened further by dancers, particularly those in the roles of Night (Renata Mrózková and Hana Vašáková) and Shadow (Petr Drábek and David Černák). (...) The spectators were also undoubtedly impressed by Andrea Zelová’s Mahulena. She was convincing in the role, singing with emotion, yet in a manner appropriate to the frequent lyrical passages. Her partner in the production, Aleš Slanina, is also deserving of praise. His Radúz came over as both masculine and temperamental. Viktória Matušovová impressed with her melodic voice as Mother Earth. The choral performances were excellent; the duet in which the bad sisters Prija (Hana Kovaříková) and Živa (Katarína Mikulová) were contrasted with Mahulena was vocally stunning and physically very dynamic and thrilling. (...) It is a purely home-grown musical with an ancient story featuring the eternal, always contemporary topic of true, tragic love. Although it doesn´t exploit international hits in order to make its mark, it does get under one´s skin and gradually touches the heart though its concern with something that’s very familiar and close to us all. It is different from the world famous productions with a similar theme, being poetic and somewhat thought-provoking, coming as it does from local roots. The power of Radúz and Mahulena consists in its differences from and contrasts with the majority of the historic love stories told by the world’s theatres. Together with Koločava, it is the best work penned by the authorial duo of Moša and Ulrych. (...)

Jaroslav Štěpaník, www.brnozurnal.cz, 7. 8. 2016


Vít Závodský 1. August 2016 zdroj Týdeník Rozhlas

(…) Today’s premiere of Radúz and Mahulena is based on a fairy-tale play (1898) of the same name by Julius Zeyer. It was written by a duo of frequently collaborating authors (Koločava, Máj, Markéta Lazarová) – the composer Petr Ulrych and librettist and director Stanislav Moša. Basically, it was a creative return to this immortal story of the cursed love between members of two rival royal families as it first appeared at Brno City Theatre nineteen years ago. Moša´s script for Ulrych´s Slavonic folklore-inspired score has condensed the original text and moved it away from the Art Nouveau ornamentality of the original work without erasing the brilliance of the language. A recording of the earlier production backs live singing by the new generation of actors and actresses, who play their characters in every performance without alternates. Andrea and Adéla Kučerová´s costumes made a fine contribution to the atmosphere of the production, as did Jaroslav Milfajt’s dark blue, rugged stage, which evokes the steep slopes of the Tatra Mountains.

The musically demanding production, which features many “hit” songs, switches between moments of drama, pathos and lyrical beauty. It gives jealous Runa (Lucie Bergerová) and the allegorical figure of Mother Earth (Viktória Matušovová) room to stand out alongside the central couple (Aleš Slanina, Andrea Zelová), who work very well together. Young choreographer Michal Matěj has clearly put a lot of effort into the erotically pulsing choral numbers. The director has innovatively promoted the wise wood cutter Vratko (Stanislav Slovák) to a more central position and emphasized the natural connection between all living creatures in the age-long natural cycle, creating an impressive spectacle under the starry night sky.



Iva Bryndová 3. July 2016 zdroj www.musical.cz

(…) Aleš Slanina and Andrea Zelová starred in the main roles. (...) They make such an excellently matched couple and are a pleasure to watch. The spectators may even feel sad that they don´t have more time together. Almost angelic in her kindness, Mahulena is the only absolutely pure force of goodness in the story, wearing a permanently happy smile when within the body of the tree in the second half. From the viewpoint of an actress this must be incredibly demanding, but Andrea Zelová copes excellently. Her Mahulena radiates unbreakably positive energy, humanity and benevolence for the whole time. In contrast, the role of Radúz offers somewhat greater acting opportunities, and Aleš Slanina makes full use of the options offered. Not satisfied with the fact that the character is a positive one, his Radúz is uncertain and suffers, loving, hating and losing himself in oblivion. His acting performance is complex in every way and his singing is similarly good, though it must be said that he has somewhat more possibilities there than Mahulena. After the main characters on the good side, let´s turn to the main villain. Lucie Bergerová starred in the role of Mahulena´s mother, who represents the greatest evil in the story. The actress already appeared in a negative role at Brno City Theatre in May, in the premiere of Sold Laughter, and it must be admitted that she is as good at being a bad girl as she is in the roles of romantic heroines. She manages to portray the unrestrained essential evil within Runa with great skill, and the singing aspect of her performance is also excellent. The scene in which she “condemns” Radúz and promises him punishment and revenge, accompanied by the characters of Shadows and Night, was one of the most impressive of the whole production thanks to her and the excellent choreography.  The other two “bad” characters in the story are Mahulena´s sisters, whom Mahulena doesn´t resemble in the slightest (just as she doesn´t resemble her mother). Prija and Živa are depicted as what are basically wild fairies, unrestrained and sensuous, but at the same time merciless, cruel and evil. Hana Kováříková and Katarína Mikulová seized the roles with gusto, acting, dancing and singing with an energy that was absolutely thrilling. The most distinctive singing role in Radúz and Mahulena is the character of Mother Earth. (...) In the new production, this mysterious mythical character is played by Viktória Matušovová, who thus has the opportunity once again to demonstrate her fantastic voice, and makes full use of it. (...)


Iva Bryndová, www.musical.cz, 3. 7. 2016


Kateřina Šebelová 23. June 2016 zdroj www.epochtimes.cz

Julius Zeyer’s romantic fairy-tale story about the forbidden love between two enemy families is still a popular theatre play which is often shown at domestic theatres today. Things are no different at Brno City Theatre, where the great love story could be seen under the starry sky in the romantic environment of the Bishop´s Courtyard, where the Brno ensemble performed at a mini open-air festival right under the spires of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul for what is already the seventh time. (...) Scenographer Jaroslav Milfajt chose to create a relatively simple stage set for the production conjuring up a jagged rock covered in wrinkled blue canvas. (...) The actors made great use of tree branches for the whole duration of the performance. Thanks to their “versatility”, these props could be employed as a forest, the sun, and also as everyday tools used by the common people. Michal Matěj certainly deserves praise for the successful and inventive choreography. (...) The work with strips of material in which the bewitched Mahulena is captured in the form of a tree appears very natural. (...) Soft earthy colours and natural materials were also used for the loose costumes, making it easy to convey spectators back in time to experience the period and fashions of the ancient Slavs. (...) Petr Ulrych´s music, with its prevailing dulcimer and traditional folk instruments, fills the auditorium with pleasant folk/folklore rhythms. Ulrych´s music, which dominates the whole performance and accompanies it fittingly, is built on strong melodies with folk motifs and pleasingly poetic lyrics. (...)




Peter Stoličný 22. June 2016 zdroj www.musical-opereta.cz

(…) Radúz was played by Aleš Slanina, an artist of many faces. (…) His Radúz is a real romantic hero, full of passion and almost jolly in his sorrow - a typical Zeyer-esque character. His partner, the fragile, pure and suffering Mahulena, is played by Andrea Zelová. She seems completely different here than when she was the main character of another romantic piece, Wild Bára. (...) Clearly an actress with a wide range, she portrayed Mahulena with touching grace. Mother Earth was played by Slovak actress Viktória Matušovová, winner of several singing awards. (...) Her solo showed that she’s a master of her art. The role of Radovid, advisor to prince Radúz and a caring friend, was played sensitively by Jakub Zedníček, who is often in the media these days. The ensemble has recently been reinforced by the young actresses Lucie Bergerová, Hana Kováříková and Katarína Mikulová. They also demonstrated completely professional acting as well as singing in the roles of Runa, Prija and Živa. Once again, the excellent working atmosphere at this theatre where everyone is used to giving their all brought impressive results. (...)




Vratislav Mlčoch 19. June 2016 zdroj www.babocka.vram.cz

(…) It wouldn´t be too far from the truth if I were to write that the music is the best part of the whole production, but it would be unjust. What is particularly worth one´s attention is the dancing - it is beautiful, with a new choreographical approach, and one simply must see it. The dances tell a story in themselves, accentuating the plot and enriching it by providing another expressive dimension. They deepen the emotional charge of the piece, potentiating the music when words are not sufficient. (...) The actors sang everything live - no playback - and just like the music they were beautiful and well suited to one another. The songs by Mother Earth (Viktória Matušovová) and Queen Runa (Lucie Bergerová) are perfect examples, but to be completely fair I would have to name all those taking part, including the children. The Bishop´s Courtyard doesn´t allow much by way of adventurous stage arrangements; in this case there is just a single big mountain, a nice chunk of the Tatras designed by Jaroslav Milfajt. The actors climbed or emerged from it at various points during the production. (...) The new costumes by Andrea Kučerová are appropriate to the period of the pagan Slavs as we know it from romantic pictures and drawings. They are very tasteful and the materials and colours match perfectly. In the case of the supernatural beings featured in this piece, the author used a lot of imagination and showed that she can conjure up some lovely surprises. (...)