Pain and purity: Janáček’s Jenůfa at Longborough

Among the many operas in the canon thrumming with drama and violence, Jenůfa remains notably dark, shocking in its bleak brutality, barely relieved by a final discovery of true love which only comes to the shattered characters at an appalling price. Consequently, Jenůfa presents a real challenge for directors, because if the tension drops for even a few seconds on stage, this opera can become woeful in more ways than one. Happily, director and designer Richard Studer’s fiercely intense production for Longborough never lets the red thread of agony slacken, from the painfully poignant opening to its tragic, transcendent conclusion.

Click here to read my full review on Bachtrack.

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