|Film as a medium for staging Chamber Opera|
|Daniel Dvořák studied architecture and set
design with Prof. Josef Svoboda at the University of Applied Arts in
Prague, subsequently at Vienna’s Akademie der bildenden Künste under the
tutelage of Prof. Lois Egg. To date, he has created more than 200 set
designs both at home and abroad (Argentina, France, Italy, Korea,
Germany, Poland, Austria, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Japan, Ireland,
In 1988, in tandem with Jiří Nekvasil, he established the experimental Opera Furore. Two years later he became the intendant of the Chamber Opera Prague, which he and Jiří Nekvasil reorganised into Opera Mozart. Daniel Dvořák is the set designer and co-author of all Opera Furore productions (Faust, The Violin Against Iron, Andy Warhol) and the majority of Opera Mozart productions (for example, The Best of Mozart, Figaro? Figaro!, Play Magic Flute, Golem, Die Zauberflöte, Don Juan Bastien, Cosi fan tutte, La Clemenza di Tito, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni). In 1998 he was appointed Director of the State Opera Prague, where as a set designer he above all prepared the world premieres of Bubu of Montparnasse (E. F. Burian), Dorian Gray (I. Steiner), Phaedra (E. Viklický), Die Physiker (A. Pflüger), Circus Terra (T. Madsen), as well as, for example, the operas Der Freischütz, Il Trovatore, The Polish Jew (K. Weiss), The Fall of the House of Usher (P. Glass), Es war einmal (A. Zemlinskz); later on Die Zauberflöte, Tiefland (E. d’Albert), La roulette (Z. Merta).
Between 2002 and September 2006 Daniel Dvořák was the Director of the National Theatre in Prague, with which he has collaborated as a designer since 1983. Here he has created some 30 set designs – for example, for the operas Il Trovatore, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Emperor of Atlantis, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Report for the Academy, Cosi fan tutte, Bertram and Mescalinda, The Death of Klinghoffer, The Excursions of Mr. Brouček, Verdi’s Requiem, Vanda, Adriana Lecouvreur, The Bartered Bride, Jenufa, Don Pasquale, Die Kleinstädter, Apollo et Hyacinthus, The Greek Passion, The Secret, Antigona, set designs for the ballets Prince Bajaja, Tchaikovsky, Coppélia, and for the dramas The Persecution and Torture of Dr. Šalda, Hypermarket, and others.
As regards theatres abroad, he has in recent years created set designs for, among other things, Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Buenos Aires 2000), La Clemenza di Tito (Hamburg 2000), M. Gurlitt’s The Soldiers (Nantes 2002), Tiefland (Trier 2002), Tosca (Tokyo 2003), Matthus’s Never Ending Story (Trier, 2004), Adriana Lecouvreur (Erfurt 2004), Jenufa (Dublin 2004 and Riga 2005), The Flying Dutchman (Regensburg 2005), Rusalka (Münster, 2005), Die Kleinstädter (Regensburg 2005), La Boheme (Thessaloniki, 2006), Antigona (Rheinsberg, 2006).
As a specialist in complex monumental set designs, Daniel Dvořák was invited to collaborate on the largest Czech musicals of recent years - Dracula, Monte Cristo, West Side Story, Rebels, Miss Saigon. He has also created set designs for music films on television. A dimensional contrast to these mega productions is represented by his work for puppet film and, in particular, puppet theatre. In 1991 he co-founded the National Marionette Theatre; he is the co-author of the most successful Czech post-1990 theatre production – the marionette version of Don Giovanni (more than 3,500 reruns).
Daniel Dvořák has displayed his works at both independent and group exhibitions. In late December 2004/early January 2005 the Mánes exhibition hall in Prague held the exhibition entitled fifty-fifty, which presented Daniel Dvořák as a set designer and at the same time collector of modern beaux arts. At the Prague Quadrennial 1999 (the world’s largest set design show) the Czech display, to which he contributed, was awarded the main prize – the Golden Triga. His artistic design for the film Rebels (directed by F. Renč) was nominated in its category for the 2001 Czech Lion film prize. He received the 1999 Alfréd Radok Prize for theatre set design (Bubu of Montparnasse). In 2004 he was again nominated for the Alfréd Radok Prize – theatre set design of 2003 (Adams – The Death of Klinghoffer, National Theatre in Prague). In 2001 he was awarded the Masaryk Academy of Arts Prize for set design work. In 2002 the French Government appointed Daniel Dvořák Chevalier de L´ordre des Arts et des Lettres.