The Royal Opera House series of Janácek operas continues with the first production for nearly 20 years of Jenůfa, first performed in 1904.
Jenůfa is pregnant by the feckless show-off Števa, a drinker and womaniser. Her stepmother, the Kostelnička, with recollections of her own marriage to a drunk, won’t allow a marriage unless he stays sober for a year.
Finnish soprano Karita Mattila sings the strong-minded stepmother in Jenůfa. Photo: Marica Rosengard
But Laca truly loves Jenůfa, and in a jealous frustration lashes out at her, marking her for life, a disfigurement which Števa won't accept, despite the birth of the baby. Then a terrible solution emerges....
Award-winning director Claus Guth stages this first production of Jenůfa at Covent Garden since 2001, and London Philharmonic Orchestra music director and former music director of Glyndebourne Vladimir Jurowski returns to The Royal Opera to conduct a score shot through with the folk music of Janácek’s native Moravia.
Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian makes her Covent Garden debut as Jenůfa, while distinguished Finnish soprano Karita Mattila as the Kostelnicka marks her 25th year at the Royal Opera House.
Allan Clayton sings the tenor role of Laca, who loves Jenůfa. Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke
Tenor Allan Clayton sings Laca, with Czech tenor Pavel Cernoch, who make his house debut in the 2018/19 season in the searing Kát’a Kabanová returning to sing Števa.
If you are new to Janácek opera, this shattering drama is a great place to start. The composer's fans will need no second encouragement to book as soon as possible....
Jenůfa is sung in Czech with English surtitles. Performances are on 24, 27, 30 March; 3, 6 and 9 April. Booking opens 9AM, Wed 29 Jan.
|What||Jenůfa, Royal Opera House|
|Where||English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
24 Mar 20 – 09 Apr 20, six performances
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|