A gala performance of Janáček’s Jenůfa on Tuesday 18 October will officially conclude the 5th Janáček Brno international theatre and music festival. The title role of Jenůfa will be performed by the soprano Pavla Vykopalová, who opened the festival on 7 October playing Káťa in an unforgettable staging of Káťa Kabanová by director Robert Carsen. This symbolically marks the end of an exceptionally successful festival which has garnered excellent reviews both in the CzechRepublic and abroad.
A selection of responses from the press
In recent times the Opera of the National Theatre Brno has surprised us with one excellent production after another. It’s time to finally set aside false modesty and admit that what is currently taking place on the stage of the Janáček Theatre is of an international standard and that Brno is experiencing a golden age. (Harmonie, Martin Flašar, 17. 10. 2016)
Under the baton of Marko Ivanović, the Janáček Opera NdB Orchestra were never less than thrilling. Bartók's music combined sweetness and threat early on, the opening of the fifth door into Bluebeard’s kingdom was satisfyingly expansive, the harp notes that introduce the Lake of Tears rang evocatively, and the tension ratcheted up to an orchestral scream worthy of Edvard Munch. An impressive contribution to a genuinely illuminating performance. (Bachtrack.com, David Karlin, 17. 10. 2016)
The Janáček Brno festival, which has its historical predecessors in the distant and more recent past, is gradually building an identity of its own. The leitmotiv, though by no means the only theme, is of course the work of Janáček, but set within the context of his contemporaries and followers. In my view it is the extremely rich and varied programme of different productions of the composer’s operas which is rightly one of the festival’s dominant features. (Opera+, Olga Janáčková, 13. 10. 2016)