The Greek Passion

A bell in an unfinished temple, water as a symbol of purification, burning candles... Red eggs are given out as a symbol of Easter. Suddenly from a distance desperate voices are heard. In lucid, almost dreamlike images, the the great drama of what lies within man.
The priest Grigoris calls a meeting of the elders of the village of Lycovrissi and chooses Christ and the apostles from among the villagers for the Passion Play. The deep peace in which the village has been living is shattered by a sudden upheaval. Just as the finger of God demands proof of faith, refugees arrive in the village and ask for asylum. Common daily worries gradually fade away; the strength of their faith and their role in the coming Passion begin to transform their spiritual consciousness into a new maturity. Gradually, they return to the only meaning of their actions: good or evil... This is how Bohuslav Martinů characterized his last opera The Greek Passion, which was inspired by the novel Christ Recrucified by the Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis.  The composer, who himself who experienced the fate of a refugee, created in it a work of great humanistic message about the power of faith. A message increasingly relevant in today's world.

Audience: adult, children 15+

About the company

Janacek Opera of the National Theatre Brno belongs among the leading opera houses in Central Europe, with its tradition dating back to the 80‘s of the 19th century, when the Czech theatre was open in Brno. During its existence, the opera ensemble has introduced numerous significant productions, including world or Czechoslovak premieres (among others, L. Janáček, A. Berg, B. Martinů, D. Shostakovich). Janacek Opera also cooperates with distinguished theatres abroad (Jenůfa by L. Janáček in co-production with the State Opera Vienna in 2004, Greek Passion by B. Martinů with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2005, The Makropulos Case by L. Janáček, Bluebeard Castle/ Expectation and Three Fragments from Juliette / Human Voice with Goteborg Operan), Händel’s Alcina with Royal Opéra de versaillese and Theatre de Caen), directors and conductors (David Pountney, Sir Charles Mackerras, Robert Carsen, Pamela Howard, David Radok, Tomáš Hanus, Jakub Hrůša) as well as outstanding artists (Peter Straka, Anja Silja, Štefan Margita, Magnus Vigilius, Aleš Briscein, Maida Hundeling, Eva Urbanová, Katarina Karnéus, Annalena Persson, Karita Mattila, Karin Gauvin, Joachim Bäckström and many others). A wide repertoire of the 18th and 19th opera literature is offered to the audience (i.e. Aida, La Traviata, La Gioconda, Le comte Ory, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Tosca, Rusalka, The Bartered Bride, The Kate and the Devil, Faust, Die Rosenkavalier) as well as the production of the 20th century (i.e. The Miracles of Mary, Jenufa, Katya Kabanova, The Excursion of Mr. Brouček to the Moon, The Marriage, The Cunning Little Vixen, Powder Her Face, L’amour de loin, Epic of  Gilgamesh, Monument, Peter Grimes). Being not confined by the Czech Republic boundaries, the opera ensemble spans its activities across Europe (i.e. Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy), Middle East (Royal Opera House Muscat) and Asia. With a special focus on Czech music, the 2017 Hong Kong Arts Festival and Shanghai China International Arts Festival welcomed more than 180 musicians and singers from the Janáček Opera of the National Theatre Brno, together with world class soloists, in an extraordinary musical celebration featuring Janáček’s The Makropulos Case.

Theatre / company

Janáček Opera of the National Theatre Brno / Janáčkova opera Národní divadlo Brno

Czech title

Řecké pašije


Bohuslav Martinů


Jiří Heřman


Bohuslav Martinů


Patricie Částková

Stage design

Dragan Stojčevski

Costume design

Alexandra Grusková

Lighting design

Jiří Heřman

Length of the performance

150 minutes

Stage area


Stage description

ideally with a revolving stage and trapdoor

Number of travelling persons



Czech , Subtitles available


Jiří Heřman