Opera Review: Jenufa

Among the most depressing operas of the repertoire, 'Jenufa' has delightful direction and sets.

By URY EPPSTEIN
February 14, 2012 21:47
1 minute read.
Jenufa, a Czech opera.

Jenufa Czech opera 390. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Janacek’s Jenufa, performed at the Israeli Opera, can be counted among the most depressing operas of the repertoire, although when it comer to Janacek, some even more depressing ones can be found.

Nikolaus Lehnhoff’s direction and Tobias Hoheisel’s sets were a delight. They inclined toward the minimalist, placing emphasis on refined taste. The dramatic action was highlighted pointedly and impressively, though without melodramatic exaggerations or modernist sophistication for its own sake, and refrained from crowding the stage with superfluous objects or figures.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Among the singers, the most outstanding was Dalia Schaechter as Kostelnicka.

Forcefully convincing in her rage, anguish and remorse, she expressed these emotions with intense strength and displayed an irresistible personality with her powerful mezzosoprano, without traversing the subtle borderline between excitement and exaggerated hysteria.

In the title role, Barbara Haveman’s bright, appealing soprano became too theatrical and shrill to be credible in this gentle, delicate and submissive girl’s love declarations, moments of grief, and despair.

Andrew Rees’s tenor sounded just as rough and aggressive as this unpleasant character presumably is intended to appear.

As Laca, Yorma Silvasti portrayed an impassioned, profoundly devoted lover.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


After the stunning, superbly performed, dramatic climax at the end of Act Two, the concluding Act Three had a somewhat disappointing decrease of tension. Perhaps the best way to understand this unexplained profusion of love, remorse, wholesale forgiveness and milk of human kindness is to accept it as Janacek’s own personal, not necessarily realistic, wishful thinking.

George Pehlivanian, conducting the Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, sensitively and effectively underlined the dramatic action and emotional intricacies of the work, especially when he let tension mount in attentively

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA