thu 14/12/2017

Janáček

Osud/Trouble in Tahiti, Opera North - swings and roundabouts in a surprising double-bill

It was a topsy-turvy evening. Sometimes the things you expect to turn out best disappoint, while in this case the relatively small beer yielded a true "Little Great" of a production and the best singing in Opera North's latest double bill (subject...

Read more...

From the House of the Dead, Welsh National Opera review - elderly staging, music comes up fresh

This week is Prison Week in the Christian Churches, and it would be nice, if fanciful, to think that WNO programmed their revival of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead with that in mind. More likely the thinking was that it fitted well enough into...

Read more...

‘A massive party full of treats and surprises’: Annabel Arden on six mini masterpieces at Opera North

The first day of rehearsals for The Little Greats was thrilling and terrifying in equal measure: the casts of six shows, the whole chorus, all the creative teams and management milling around and talking nineteen to the dozen in the big, reverberant...

Read more...

Proms at... & Prom 56 reviews: Multi-Story Orchestra / BBCSO, Hrůša - the best of all possible worlds

There we had it, in one extraordinary Proms day: the brave new world of contemporary classical music for all in a repurposed Peckham car park followed by the consolidation of the old order in all-Czech programming of remarkable originality and...

Read more...

'You are my hero, dear Jiří': Karita Mattila and others remember Jiří Bělohlávek

The first of Jiří Bělohlávek’s final three appearances in London, conducting his Czech Philharmonic in a concert performance of Janáček’s Jenůfa, came as a shock. The trademark grey curly hair had vanished. Clearly he had undergone chemotherapy, but...

Read more...

Best of 2016: Opera

It was the best and worst of years for English National Opera. Best, because principals, chorus and orchestra seem united in acclaiming their Music Director of 14 months, Mark Wigglesworth, for his work at a level most had only dreamed of (“from the...

Read more...

St Lawrence String Quartet, Wigmore Hall

John Adams, let's face it, was the reason many of us came to hear the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Their performances and recordings as dedicatees of his labyrinthine First String Quartet and Absolute Jest, in which the four players function as...

Read more...

Ehnes, Hallé, Elder, Heyward, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Two things to note in Thursday’s Hallé performance at the Bridgewater Hall: the debut in the Manchester main series of their highly talented new assistant conductor, Jonathon Heyward, and another stride along the road towards the Hallé/Elder...

Read more...

Prom 45: The Makropulos Affair, BBCSO, Bělohlávek

Karel Čapek, the great Czech writer who pioneered some of the most prophetic dramatic fantasies of the early 20th century, thought Janáček was nuts to want to set his wordy play about a 337-year-old woman to music. He could not have anticipated what...

Read more...

Jenůfa, Longborough Festival Opera

Quite apart from its inherent power, Jenůfa always amazes me by the way it seems to pluck a new language out of thin air, then use it to carry one of the most moving and emotionally truthful works in the repertory. Its curiously staccato...

Read more...

Jenůfa, English National Opera

ENO's new artistic director Daniel Kramer must regret having gone on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week to talk about suspending Janáček "and other obscures" from the company's repertoire for several seasons to come. Good God, if Jenůfa, Janáček's first...

Read more...

The Cunning Little Vixen, Glyndebourne

Is The Cunning Little Vixen a jolly children’s pantomime, or is it a searching study of issues of life and death, Man and Nature? The answer, naturally, is that it’s both. Children dress up as animals, and sing and prance about. But at the same time...

Read more...
Subscribe to Janáček