Mozart's Don Giovanni has been a favourite among opera lovers since it premiered in Prague in the late eighteenth century, but it is unlikely that any have ever watched it on a rooftop in the Czech capital while submerged in a bath tub, glass of bubbly in hand – until now.
The unorthodox performance was given at sunset by top Czech opera singers, including soloist Adam Plachetka of the Vienna Opera.
The stunt was based around an anagram – Don Giovanni in Czech is "John do vany" which also means "John into the tub". Prague cafe owner and culture promoter Ondrej Kobza organised the performance, and believes that presenting culture in innovative ways is the best way of preserving it.
He said: "Mozart composed the opera here in Prague and just because of the anagram, we had to make a tribute to Mozart with it."
Plachetka said that choosing to perform was a daring move for him, but that he enjoyed the challenge. "When Mr Kobza asked me to take part in this event, it was a daring step for me because this is something very non-traditional, but I like new challenges. We are showing what it is about."
The spectators sat in their bath tubs in full evening attire in what was, fortunately, warm water. Audience member Martin Sterba said: "I am normally not following the opera a lot, but to see Don Giovanni as 'John do vany' from in a bath tub, with a nice view of Prague Castle is something incredible."
Don Giovanni, which tells the story of a sexually promiscuous nobleman whose past finally catches up with him, premiered in Prague, then part of the Austrian Hapsburg Empire, on 29 October, 1787.