Story of Act III
act takes place in a room in an hotel: on
the left a window, on the right a door leading
to a passage: in the centre is the entrance
to Martyís bedroom which is separated by
a curtain. Marty enters from the bedroom
in a peignoir, closely followed by Prus
who wears a dinner jacket but no collar.
crosses to the window and draws up the blind,
Prus sits down dejectedly on a chair. Turning
from the window she enquires: "Well?
Satisfied?" and asks if she may now
have the envelope. Prus takes from his breastpocket
a leather pocket-book from which he extracts
a sealed envelope and without a word throws
it in front of Marty on the table. She pounces
on it, examines it by the light of the bed
lamp, opens it with a hairpin and, taking
from it a yellow faded manuscript, quickly
scans it, folds the paper and hides it in
dolefully that she has cheated him out of
it: she was as cold as ice, like a corpse-and
it was for such doubtful pleasure that he
has purloined someone elseís letter. Marty
tells him not to make such a fuss over a
single envelope. If it would make him feel
any better, why doesnít he spit in her face!
Rather in his own, retorts Prus bitterly.
a knock on the door: a chambermaid enters
and announces that Mr. Prusís servant is
enquiring for him. Prus is amazed that anyone
should know where he has spent the night.
He retires to the bedroom to put on a collar,
while Marty sits down in front of the toilet-table
and asks the chambermaid to do her hair.
Something terrible has happened, the maid
says in a thrilling voice to her mistress.
Mr. Prusís servant is in such a state, frightened
to death he is: shaking, holding a letter
in his hand! Marty, who could not be less
interested, yawns, tells the maid to be
careful what she is doing with her hair,
she is tugging at it.
properly dressed, hurriedly re-enters and
goes out. Marty tells the chambermaid to
concentrate on her hair. The girl, however,
continues to chatter until Prus enters abruptly.
He is holding a letter in his shaking hands
and tells Marty to dismiss the girl. The
chambermaid makes a hurried exit as Prus
gropes for a chair. The upshot of the matter
is that his son has shot himself. He had
fallen madly in love with Marty and, being
suspicious, followed his father last night:
when he found out what was happening...
between Prus and Marty....
the letter, hut turns on Marty angrily when
he finds her quite unconcerned and calmly
putting hairpins in her hair. Must she go
about like a scarecrow because someone has
killed herself for love of her, she replies
in some heat. Besides, Prus is at least
as much to blame as she is. The tormented
father torn between grief and anger storms
out, as the feeble-minded Hauk-Šendorf creeps
in on tiptoe and kisses Marty on the neck.
evidently been expecting her old lover,
who racily recounts that his own wife is
really much too old for him, that he has
managed to steal her jewellery and is now
ready to elope with his beloved gypsy girl.
Taking a pair of castanets from his pocket
he takes a turn or two round, snapping his
serious about going away with him: just
then, however, there is a general entrance
from different quarters as Gregor, Dr. Kolenatý,
Vítek and Kristina burst into the room.
They are followed by a hospital attendant
who gently leads away his patient, the half-crazed
and his clerk have been doing some detective
work; comparing the signature of Ellian
MacGregor on the document supplied by Marty
with Martyís own signature on the photograph
she signed for Krista, they have found them
to be the handwriting of the same person
and have come to demand an explanation.
Marty opens the drawer of the toilet-table,
as Gregor jumps towards her and wrenches
a revolver from her hand. Crying out that
matters have gone far enough and she is
prepared to answer all their questions,
she rushes into her bedroom. In her absence
the three men decide to take the law into
their own hands and search through her belongings.
a medallion with Hauk-Šendorf Ďs family
crest on it, letters and documents from
Eugenia Montez, Elsa Muller, Ellian MacGregor
and other of Martyís aliases. Although reluctant
to begin the search, Dr. Kolenatý is at
last thoroughly incensed and sends his old
clerk to bring him gown and wig, for he
is determined to put the fear of God into
this shocking woman.
is now set for the final scene of the opera.
Dr. Kolenatý is now dressed like a judge:
Vítek has also brought some tapers and a
in drunk: she has a whisky bottle in one
hand and a glass in the other and is elaborately
"jury" are appalled and Dr. Kolenatý
sternly takes the bottle away from her.
(It was Janáčekís idea, not Čapekís, to
make Marty intoxicated at the beginning
of her big scene.)
solemnly begins his interrogation: her name?
Elina Makropulos: her birthplace? Crete:
her age? "How old do you think? "Kristina
suggests that Marty is perhaps in her forties.
Sticking out her tongue at her, Marty exclaims:
"Oh, you little hussy! "Dr. Kolenatý
repeats his question sternly how old is
she? Marty replies that, as she was born
in 1575, she is 347 years old. Kolenatý
is incredulous-she is making a fool of them!
continues Marty, was doctor and alchemist
to Emperor Rudolph II, an emperor who kept
seeking for something to keep him young,
some kind of potion to prolong his life.
Her father discovered the secret. The emperor,
however, was too frightened to try it, unless,
that is, someone else tried it first. He
suggested that the alchemist should experiment
on his own 16-year-old daughter. This was
done; the daughter fell ill and lay for
several days in a coma: seeing this, the
emperor arrested her father and had him
executed as a fraud. She (the daughter)
recovered and escaped to Hungary: when she
found she went on living beyond the allotted
threescore and ten she felt the necessity
constantly to change her identity in order
to avoid suspicion.
turned out that as Ellian MacGregor she
was the mistress of Baron Prus, and under
five separate names (always with the initials
E M.) has lived five separate lives. Only
once had she revealed her secret; this was
when she gave the prescription to her lover,
Baron Prus, in whose house it had remained
until this morning.
now come to the end of her tether: she must
either take another dose of the life elixir
or die. Marty collapses and is carried to
a couch. For a time Dr. Kolenatý is only
half-convinced that she is telling the truth.
"Sheís fainted, or else is in a state
of catalepsy: or if itís not that, I donít
know what the deuce it can be", he
says, still very puzzled at her strange
he is convinced: all the pieces of the jigsaw
puzzle have fallen into place-no other explanation
will cover the facts. The philosophical
discussion which follows in the play-where
Kristina and the men discuss the pros and
cons of an existence prolonged for 300 years
compared to a normal life span-is extremely
interesting, but was considered by Janáček
to be too didactic for operatic treatment.
she finds she is dying, Marty asks herself
why it was she was so afraid of death. No
one should want to live so long: if they
only knew how pleasant and meaningful their
shorter lives are: all things have importance
for them, are of value: because they must
die so soon, life seems full of pleasure:
they believe in virtue, greatness, love
and even in mankind.
no further desire to go on living, although
she is afraid to die: nothing has any meaning
for her any longer, everything is so futile,
singing or silence, wickedness or virtue-itís
all the same to her. "Everything bores
me, for, you see, nothing really exists!
" Standing on her couch she holds the
magic formula at armís length and offers
it to the company: "Bertik?"-Gregor
makes a gesture of refusal. "Well,
then, the doctor? "-Kolenatý is of
a similar mind. "You have it, Kristina.
I stole your sweetheart from you: youíre
beautiful, talented, you can be famous and
one day youíll sing like Emilia Marty-come-whoíll
it! Burn it!" the four men cry out
decidedly. Kristina takes the document from
Marty and holds it over the candle flame.
As she does so Marty cries out in her mother
tongue the first two words of the Lordís
prayer "Pater hemon!" and falls
dead having accepted death as the logical
end of life, reconciled to an endless sleep
which solves all her problems.
Music of Act III
PRUS AND MARTY (PP. 135-8)
main themes in the opening scene are both
associated with Prus-
(a) a motif
of remorse and regret
(b) a motif
of fury and anger.
grows out of an exultant? gigue-like unison
passage for violins, where a two-note accompanying
figure appears at  (which follows on
the first appearance of the remorse motif)
probably expressing Martyís excitement at
being about to secure the magic formula.
frustration and irritation are all woven
into the music  to , where the silences
are as important as the sounds. A curious,
elusive figure over mysterious harmonies
is heard while Marty examines the faded
manuscript , followed by Prusís remorse
theme as he reproaches Marty for having
cheated him out of it. A trombone and then
a trumpet twice give out a nasty, crooked
phrase picturing Prusís utter disgust with
himself . The two-note anger motif reappears
at [141, when the chamber maid knocks. Prus
is ashamed at being found in this compromising
situation: violin and viola play the sadly
with the excitement of the humble chambermaid.
This theme has a bolder appendix to it 
+ 4 of which the end arpeggio group develops
(p. 141) as the chambermaid describes to
her mistress the terrifying agitation of
Prusís servant. As the distraught Prus returns
we hear the heart-rending motif of his grief
tear its heart out on the strings.
is in fact a powerful variation of the chambermaidís
agitation motif. What was to her merely
an exciting piece of news, is to Prus an
overwhelming personal tragedy. The sadness
and pathos of No. 4 wells through the ensuing
scene, while Martyís reactions appear in
 then again at  in its own right,
expressing Prusís annoyance at Martyís lack
of interest in the suicide of his son for
which he feels she is largely to blame.
The two-note figure of No. 67 also cuts
in. A4,  then a 4 variant  of No.
69 evolves (p. 144) until Prus storms out
As the half-crazed
old Count tiptoes in, the orchestra gives
out quietly at  a slight little rocking
figure derived from Act II, No. 60, followed
by the doddering skittish pattern figure
at  which suggests his inner mirth at
eluding his old wife and stealing a march
on her by purloining her jewels. As, however,
it transpires that the Count has escaped
from a mental home, it may well be these
adventures are merely imaginary. Martyís
affection for the gentle old fellow is expressed
in her: "Si, si, Senor" phrase
(+3 and 4) which carries over its expressive
contents into the orchestra.
waltz tune from p. 96 reappears at 
with the two-note ostinato figure at 
and persists until Haukís hospital attendant
arrives and leads him away. Janáček has
made considerable cuts in Čapekís Act III,
not the least being the sudden exit of the
Count at this point: in the play he has
much to say for himself in the cross-examination
scene which follows. This scene begins in
the opera with a highly dramatic interjection
on trombones, tuba and double-basses.
other passages in this and other Janáček
operas, this interrogation motif is written
in the whole-tone scale. Janáčekís use of
this primarily impressionist device rarely
goes beyond a few measures: subsequent repetitions
of the motif align themselves with traditional
major and minor keys.
A new twin
motif (of accusation?) appears at -5
with side-drum-later timpani-supplying a
militant touch to the colour. A more aggressive
version of (B) accompanies Gregorís rather
self-conscious reproach of Marty, for the
alleged wrong she has done Kristina Incidentally,
love spurned by Marty, Gregor turns nasty
and in the play all but loses the sympathy
of the audience when he suggests to the
others that they should search through her
luggage. The accompanying figure at -2,
is immediately worked on its own rights
at , even generating a new motif of
Martyís despair at  .
As the men
hurriedly search through Martyís cases,
the orchestra plays over and over again
a chop-stick four note figure. An important
theme in this episode is the agitated
whole-tone scale leanings. It is worth noting
that a unison stepping up to a major seventh
is a frequent progression in the bass in
this section of the opera. It may be seen
at  to  and at , , ,
,  + 6 and elsewhere.
half-drunk when she re-enters. Here is how
Janáček characterizes her befuddled state
voices of this hysterical theme (A and B)
are heard in combination and in alternation
particularly the two note figure (C) which
is developed at some length from  to
, again at  till  and lastly
between  and  and  and .
Dr. Kolenatý asks her what is the name of
her father. When she replies that he was
Hieronymus Makropulos, horns behind the
stage play the trumpet fanfare we heard
many times in the overture; when Kolenatý
angrily declares that he is through with
her for this monstrous lie, trumpets and
horns in the orchestra strongly proclaim
the truth of her statement. Another set
of complimentary motifs appear
Dr. Kolenatýís scepticism and (B) Martyís
assurance and nonchalance.
Marty confession motif is the diatonic No.
fanfare motif reappears at  in a new
and spritely, buoyant, imitative episode,
picturing Marty as a fresh young uninhibited
16-year-old girl at the time when her father
was making his great discovery: immediately
after, there comes music for the painful,
mysterious, suspended-animation coma she
fell into after swallowing the drug 
The two-note figure of enquiry will be seen
at , , and elsewhere. Kolenatýís
theme of Act I reappears at +6 and -3,
reminding us that Janáček is not always
inattentive to his own thematic material
in other acts.
great intensity and emotion is heard when,
at the climax of this scene, Marty collapses,
is carried out and the men are forced to
admit the genuineness of her confession
The orchestral interlude at  begins
with Martyís hysterical drunken theme preceded
and followed by solemn chords on trombones:
then a solo violin plays