The string orchestra Ensemble Opera Diversa was founded in 2005. For individual programmes percussions and wind instruments are added. The orchestra is led by Jan Bělohlávek, the Principal Violinist and co-founder of the Ensemble. Gabriela Tardonová is the Ensemble’s leading conductor. A number of other conductors have conductors have collaborated on individual opera and concert projects, such as Tomáš Hanák (Kyas’s Triple Concerto, Kyas and Drábek’s opera The Strange Suicide of Two Lovers of Shinagawa), Andreas Kröper (a modern premiere of Salieri’s Congratulation Cantata dedicated to the count Haugwitz in Náměšť nad Oslavou), Vít Spilka, Jan Ocetek or Tomáš Krejčí.
In keeping with its poetics the Ensemble creates programmes attractive to new audiences – intentionally sidelining notorious and much-performed pieces. At the same time, the Ensemble avoids the classification of a performer of new music. The Ensemble’s careful dramaturgy and the performers’ enthusiasm and commitment strive to foster greater participation and open dialogues with the listener. Each of the concert programmes usually connect twentieth-century music with new commissioned pieces, often composed by Ondřej Kyas, the court author of the Ensemble Opera Diversa, and other associated authors. In this long-standing commitment to new music that experiments with audience understanding rather than with the musical form itself, the Ensemble has premiered the works of František Emmert, Maximilian Kreuz, Ondřej Štochl or Peter Graham.
The Ensemble Opera Diversa is a group of musicians and singers who present fresh works to audiences in various interesting venues. It is significant that they are not after effects in the first place but after high-quality and professional performance. And they are succeeding. Karla Hofmannová in a review of Ondřej Kyas’s Stabat Mater (22 March 2010), written for the Hudební rozhledy journal.
The Ensemble Opera Diversa is a successful interpreter, and its dramaturgy is marked with extraordinary thoughtfulness, making no compromises with mainstream music taste and taking no easy solutions with well-known compositions. (Boris Klepal in Harmonie, in his concert review of the “Voice of America” programme of 3 March 2015)