Our latest newsletter is out now:
- 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.
One year after the death of director Patrice Chéreau, his critically acclaimed staging of From the House of the Dead will be performed at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater in Berlin.
When his production was performed in 2009 at the MET, critics were thrilled:
“Critics aren't supposed to use the word ‘perfect.’ It sounds excessive and insincere, because, after all, nothing in life or art is absolute. But when confronted with a production of such overwhelming excellence as From the House of the Dead at the Met, the urge to use the P-word is just about irresistible.” (The New York Post, 16 November 2009)
“Leoš Janáček’s From the House of the Dead, is a total triumph, perhaps one of the finest things that the Met has ever done.” (The New Yorker, 30 November 2009)
Watch the Staatsoper Berlin’s trailer on YouTube:
Leoš Janáček: From the House of the Dead
Opera in 3 acts | 100'
critical-practical version (by Sir Charles Mackerras and John Tyrrell)
7.12.2014, Staatsoper im Schiller Theater, Berlin; Tom Fox, Pavlo Hunka, Eric Stoklossa, Stefan Margita, Peter Straka, Vladimir Chmelo, Jiri Sulzenko, Heinz Zednik, Ladislav Elgr, Ján Galla, et al.; Staatsopernchor; Staatskapelle Berlin, cond. Simon Rattle
Further performances: 10, 13, 17 and 21.12.2014
For the first time in the history of Opera Europa, selected lectures of the conference will be streamed online, which was made possible thanks to the support of the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno.
Via Sli.do, viewers will be able to ask lecturers questions in real time online, comment on their lectures and vote on questions which they’d like to see answered. To join in with the discussion just open the webpage www.sli.do click on the “join event” icon, put in the code for the event – OEBrno2014 and then write questions or vote for them to be answered.
For this occasion the Moravské zemské muzeum is hosting an exhibition that is part of the Janáček Brno Festival 2014, which celebrates the composer’s 160th birthday.
From the website of the museum:
“The exhibition in the lobby of the Janáček Theatre will reflect the 90th anniversary of the first staging of the opera The Cunning Litte Vixen by Leoš Janáček. One of the most performed operas of the 20th century was first presented on November 6, 1924 in Brno City Theatre in an excellent staging carried out by the artist Eduard Milén, director Ota Zítek and conductor František Neumann. The prepared exhibition will present this staging together with the genesis of the opera. On display will be period photographs and documents, copies of Milén´s costumes as well a model of the original stage, facsimile of Těsnohlídek´s manuscript of the novel, considered as lost for a long time, or illustrations by Stanislav Lolek that stood at the cradle of this music work.”
View the first act of Jirí Zahrádka’s revised score of The Cunning Little Vixen.
Find out more about the festivities on the website of the Moravian Museum.
View the festival’s trailer on YouTube: