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Czech film,opera director Petr Weigl dies aged 79 years

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Prague, July 15 (CTK) – Czech film and theatre director Petr Weigl, who won fame with his opera adaptions and directed opera and ballet performances in Czech theatres as well as abroad, has died at the age of 79 years, the server reported on Sunday.

Weigl directed, for instance, the legendary film poetic drama Raduz and Mahulena (1970), starring Slovak actress and later diplomat Magda Vasaryova and Czech Jan Triska, who was later living in the USA, as well as a number of opera adaptations for the screen, such as Antonin Dvorak’s Rusalka, Werther by Jules Massenet, Mary Stuart by Gaetano Donizetti, Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Dmitri Shostakovich.

Weigl, who graduated from the Film Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in 1961, shot 46 films in 1964-1998 and he directed numerous opera and ballet performances in Prague, Bratislava as well as Berlin Munich, Sevilla and Paris.

A major success was the production of Richard Strauss’s opera Salome in the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.

Weigl cooperated with foreign producers from the 1970s, which enabled him to work with world famous actors and opera singers. He created many short and feature films for the Czechoslovak Television as well as for the German public channels ARD and ZDF and the British channels BBC and Channel 4.

He worked in the Czechoslovak Television as a programme manager in 1961-1976 and then in the National Theatre ballet until 1991.

His works won many awards both at home and abroad. He received the Prix d’Italia festival award twice for his films in 1969 and in 1972.

The FITES Czech Film and Television Association bestowed the Vladislav Vancura award on Weigl for his lifelong original artistic development of music and drama forms in the cinema and on TV ten years ago. In 2016, he was given a special prize of the Thalia theatre awards collegium.

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