I would bind Jenůfa simply with the black ribbon from the long illness, suffering and laments of my daughter Olga and my little boy Vladimír. (Leoš Janáček, 1924)
With his third opera Jenůfa Leoš Janáček succeeded in making his breakthrough as an operatic composer. Since the premiere of this moving story about the fate of the sexton and her stepdaughter Jenůfa at the Brno National Theatre in 1904, it has become one of the composer’s most frequently performed works.
Annilese Miskimmon’s critically acclaimed production is currently being performed at the Royal Swedish Opera. The production opened on 18 March, further performances take place on 25, 28 and 31 March and on 3 and 6 April.
Watch the trailer on YouTube:
Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen premières in the new production by Belgian artist and director Christophe Coppens tonight at La Monnaie / De Munt.
The young Italian-French conductor Antonello Manacorda leads the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra.
Watch the trailer here:
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- Nicolas Hodges presents the UK première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Piano Concerto No 2 at the Barbican Hall
- The definitive form of Janáček’s Sinfonietta premièred in Prague
- Johannes Maria Staud’s opera Die Antilope receives its German première at the Cologne Opera
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– The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra presents Weill’s and Brecht’s The Lindbergh Flight in St. Louis.
– The Zuger Sinfonietta premières Paul Leonard Schäffer’s instrumentation of Alban Berg’s 7 Early Songs for chamber orchestra.
– Belgian première of the new critical edition of The Makropulos Affair at the Opera Vlaanderen.
[Mark Wigglesworth] gives an unbearably moving account of the score. (Cara Chanteau, The Independent, 27 June 2016)
This is Janáček done slowly and lyrically, with the emphasis placed on the score’s dark poetry and depth of musical and psychological detail. The opera’s passion and compassion burn fiercely yet lingeringly: this is an interpretation that seeps under your skin rather than hits you in the solar plexus and is unquestionably all the more powerful for it. (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 24 June 2016)
Wigglesworth has an extraordinary grasp of this score and the orchestra play their hearts out for him. (Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 27 June 2016)
Right from the searing, bittersweet opening, the music’s warmth and humanity speak directly. Even the most flawed characters are given the benefit of musical nuance (John Allison, The Telegraph, 27 June 2016)
On 23 June Mark Wigglesworth and the ENO orchestra premièred David Alden’s production of Jenůfa at the English National Opera. American soprano Laura Wilde made her role debut as Jenůfa, with Michaela Martens as her stepmother the Kostelnička.
Further performances take place on 1, 6 and 8 July – find out more on the website of the English National Opera.
Our latest newsletter – an opera special with features on current productions of The Cunning Little Vixen, Wozzeck and Jenůfa – is out now.
Leoš Janáček’s three-act opera Katya Kabanova is currently being staged at the Theater Krefeld Mönchengladbach.
Helen Malkowsky’s production, which is directed by Mihkel Kütson, is receiving rave reviews: find a [German] collection on the website of the Theater Krefeld Mönchengladbach.
Watch the trailer on YouTube:
Jenůfa and Katya and Makropulos are constructed like what I’d call in English “a well-made play”. They are linear stories with three acts: a beginning, a middle, an end. (David Pountney)
Tonight David Pountney’s production of Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa (cond. Ingo Metzmacher) returns to the Wiener Staatsoper.
- Walter Braunfels’ Jeanne d’Arc in Cologne
- the new critical edition of Janáček’s The Makropulos Case in Berlin
- Krenek, Weill and the Moderns: the 24th Kurt Weill Festival
“If you value the characteristics of Janáček’s music, this is the ideal edition” says Dieter Flury, the Vienna Philharmonic’s principal flutist and former general manager after the Austrian première of The Makropulos Affair in Jiří Zahrádka’s revised edition at the Vienna State Opera.
Jakub Hrůša made his first appearance as conductor at the State Opera and was applauded as enthusiastically as Laura Aikin as Emilia Marty in Peter Stein’s staging of the opera.
“I don't know to what extent it is Janáček's calculated intention and to what extent it is his instinctive feel for drama, feel for theatre, but I believe there are actually no mistakes in this opera. It is remarkable.” (Marko Ivanović on The Makropulos Case)
Marko Ivanović is conducting The Makropulos Case by Leoš Janáček at the Göteborg Opera. David Radok’s production opened on 21 November, further performances take place on 25 and 29 November, 3, 6, 9 and 12 December and 16 and 24 January.
Watch an interview with the conductor:
The version performed is the revised edition by Jirí Zahrádka, which will also be performed this December at the Vienna State Opera.
On 7 February at 20:00 Czech radio station Vltava will broadcast a recording of the first performance of the new critical edition of Janáček’s The Makropulos Case, which was premièred at the Janáčkovo divadlo on 21 November 2014. Listen live.
If you want to browse through the study score while listening to the performance, you can do so: we’ve uploaded an excerpt of the score to Universal Edition.
Under the auspices of Universal Edition, the new edition of The Makropulos Case incorporates all the surviving sources for the first time, realising Janáček’s intentions on a well-founded scholarly basis. The autograph full score was compared with three copies made under the composer’s supervision. In addition, the new edition includes valuable notes on practical performance by the renowned Janáček conductor Sir Charles Mackerras.
All five operas, significantly perhaps, were first performed within a relatively short period – 1887 to 1925 – when the nature of marriage as an institution was under scrutiny right across the arts: think of the plays of Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov and Shaw, and the fiction of Henry James, Proust and DH Lawrence. (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 6.1.2015)
In his final opera guide, Tim Ashley of The Guardian picked five operas that explore marital hell. Three of these picks are UE works: Leoš Janáček’s Katya Kabanova, Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Alban Berg’s Wozzeck.
Read the full article on The Guardian.