Epic of Gilgamesh / Dido and Aeneas

Why the humans are not immortal and why the ones we love leave us? These are the questions common to the both stories and from them have raised the concept of the production. In the story of teh director Jiří Heřman we go back into the memories of Gilgamesh, who lost his closest friend, and Belinda, whose beloved sister Dido dies. There are myths which cut across cultures and lose nothing of their relevance even with the passing centuries. Myths which deal with the fundamental questions of human existence and those which recount great love stories. Among the earliest of them is the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, considered to be the oldest work of literature in world culture. It was this tale of the merciless ruler Uruk Gilgamesh, his friendship with the wild man Enkidu and their philosophical dialogue about life on earth and after death which became the inspiration for one of Martinů’s greatest works. One the great love stories which has inspired countless works of art is the tragic love of the Carthaginian queen Dido for the Trojan hero Aeneas. The story, based on the fourth book of Virgil’s epic The Aeneid, became the template for more than a hundred operatic versions, some of which are among the groundbreaking works of the opera genre. One such work is the opera by the great composer of English baroque Henry Purcell, whose skill in capturing the most subtle nuances of human emotions in music breathed immortality into the unfortunate Dido.

About the company

Janacek Opera NdB belongs among the leading opera houses in Central Europe. During its existence, the opera ensemble has introduced significant productions, including world or Czechoslovak premieres (Janáček, Martinů, Shostakovich). Cooperates with theatres abroad (State Opera Vienna, Covent Garden Royal Opera), directors and conductors (D.Pountney, R. Carsen D. Radok, T.Hanus) as well as outstanding artists. Opera ensemble spans its activities across Europe (i.e. Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy, Asia).


Theatre / company

Janáček Opera of the National Theatre Brno / Janáčkova opera NdB

Czech title

Epos o Gilgamešovi / Dido a Aeneas


Bohuslav Martinů / Henry Pucell


Jiří Heřman


Jan Kodet


Patricie Částková

Stage design

Dragan Stojčevski

Costume design

Alexandra Grusková

Lighting design

Daniel Tesař

Length of the performance

140 minutes

Stage area


Number of travelling persons



Czech , Subtitles available




Jiří Heřman