Jenůfa – Female portrait that concern

By on October 5, 2017
Maryam Barari

Leoš Janáček
s Jenůfa is a work that through its portrait of the young woman touches everyone who takes part of it! This spring, the opera had a prominent premiere on the Opera and is now returning with new crews in leading roles: Sara Olsson, Katarina Dalayman and Magnus Vigelius. As well as Jesper Taube who also participated in the premiere. Jonathan Darlington leads soloists, royal orchestra and Royal Opera’s choir. Giving 6 times during the period 29 September – 30 October.

Jenůfa tells of a passionate young woman; a murdered child; a strong and overprotective stepmother who wants to be well, but acts terribly wrong; and a closed claustrophobic society in which women must stay within the limits to religion and strict gender roles. The parallels of our time are striking even though the play it is based on – “Jeji Pastorkyna” by the controversial Czech dramatist Gabriela Preissova – was written in 1890.

Janáček began composing Jenůfa in the mid 1890s, but had difficulty finishing the opera. Renewed conviction he received when his daughter fell in typhus, but when his daughter fell ill – and later died in typhus – he got renewed strength, “forced by the long illness black band… to my daughter and my little son” (who died in 1890 at two years of age).

The raw accost in Jenůfa aroused wonders among contemporary critics – but Janácek’s operarealism runs from both his personal history and an artistic search for honesty.

The set director Annilese Miskimmon:

“It’s a very insightful analysis of how a woman acts when she ends up in the most horrific circumstances one can imagine. But through her ability to forgive, she finally finds meaning in the tragedy and finds the strength to move on.”

This production, with decor and costume by Nicky Shaw, is a collaboration with Scottish Opera.

Jenůfa got its first performance in 1904 in Brno. 1972 had a legendary set under the direction of Götz Friedrich and with Elisabeth Söderström in the title role, premiere of the Royal Opera.

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Stockholm