Rules for Good Manners in Modern World

It is not complicated to be born. It is easy to die. To live between these two events is not necessarily impossible. It is just enough to adapt to the rules and accept their recommendations. In 1994, the French playwright Jean-Luc Lagarce re-worked a manual of good manners from the turn of the 19th and 20th century. He conceived the play as one long scene in which an actress in a flowery way explains and comments on a list of rules for good manners in basic life situations - the absurdity and comicality of the list quickly emerges. It is an unusual theatre form which conspicuously connects serious thinking about the sense of human existence with how man makes it bearable. Lagarce‘s play became a starting point for a new opera by a tandem of renowned artists from a younger generation, composer Michal Nejtek and director Jiří Adámek. The opera was commissioned for the Janáček Opera Ensemble of the Brno National Theatre. At an absurd banquet in the Luis-Bunuel-style, a chorus of four singers – age-long guardians of traditions and noblesse - accompany the audience through life from birth to death, using the rules for good manners.

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

Pravidla slušného chování v moderní společnosti


Michal Nejtek, Jiří Adámek


Jiří Adámek


Zuzana Sýkorová


Michal Nejtek


Patricie Částková

Stage design

Ivana Kanhäuser

Costume design

Adriana Černá

Sound design

Michal Nejtek

Length of the performance

85 minutes

Number of travelling persons



Czech , Subtitles available




Jiří Heřman