First night: 2nd October 2015
Performed in the original Czech with Czech and English surtitles
Jenůfa is one of Janáček’s most famous works and is an integral part of the opera repertoire in Brno. It was inspired by Gabriela Preissová’s realist drama, which the composer himself reworked into an opera libretto. Despite having to cut much of the original text, he managed to increase the impact of this tragic story from the Moravian countryside. The extravagant and fickle Števa; the hot-tempered but essentially kind-hearted Laca; and principally the Kostelnička, whose attempts to maintain her standing and respect in the village community lead her to murder the child of her foster daughter, Jenůfa. Janáček managed to portray the individual characters in a concise and masterly fashion, which both chills us and elicits our compassion and understanding. The final form of the work was the result of a long and arduous inner journey, marked by the death of the composer’s daughter, Olga. Following its successful debut in Brno in 1904, Jenůfa had to wait twelve long years before Janáček’s efforts were rewarded with well-deserved success on other stages at home and abroad.