Alice in Bed

Ivo Medek, Markéta Dvořáková – Alice in bed

Brno National Theatre

Conductor: Ondrej Olos
Stage director: Rocc
Set design: Rocc
Costume design: Rocc, Miroslav Sabo
Video Projection: Lukáš Medek
Dramaturgist: Tomáš Pilař, Pavel Petráněk

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Alice 1: Tereza Merklová Kyzlinková
Alice 2: Gabriela Vermelho
Soprano: Hana Škarková
Countertenor: Jan Mikušek
Tenor: Marek Olbrzymek
Bas: David Nykl
Bunny: Otakar Blaha


The opera Alice in Bed came about through the collaboration of an international team of four creative individuals. It was the director Sjaron Minailo who came up with the idea of writing the full-length opera Alice in Bed, when he and Markéta Dvořáková were supposed to create a piece of musical theatre as part of composition courses in England in 2007. Markéta Dvořáková invited Ivo Medek to collaborate on an opera. They gradually abandoned their original plan – of writing a libretto based on a text by Susan Sontag – as the text seemed to both of them to be too gloomy and depressing. They retained only certain light moments (references to Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass) and decided to write a completely original text in which there would be more scope for a dreamlike, fantastical type of opera rendition. Only when everything had been agreed upon in advance did the actual libretto come into being, written by Sjaron Minailo and Anne Daschkey. The creators of the music then worked with the finished text in the usual way which applies to team composition. Firstly, there were many more hours of discussion about a range of different aspects – the atmosphere and character of individual scenes, the typical attributes of individual characters, the assigning of musical instruments to characters, etc. Then cuts had to be made to the text as there was too much of it. The originally envisaged instrumentation, for voices and percussion only, was gradually enriched with more and more instruments which the authors considered necessary, until they ended up with eleven of them. The arrangement of percussion instruments even includes children’s toys (musical toys, rattles, squeaky toys, etc.) which evoke young Alice’s childish world. The world premiere of the opera took place this spring in Brno. Part of this multimedia composition is a video component which was the work of Lukáš Medek, a computer-game designer.
The story explores the life of Alice, a successful designer of computer games who lives both her creative and personal life internally split in two.