Jenufa - Schedule, Program & Tickets


Narrow and bigotry, tradition and control, rural life in the Moravian village under the burning glass: we follow the characters through the seasons, experience a hot, brutal summer, followed by an icy, cruel winter. In the beginning of spring we will witness a festival that is not one. The tragic wedding culminates in a great admission of guilt and reveals the humanist Leos Janácek. Violence and shame, child murder, guilt and atonement. All this the composer wants to guide us to our ears and ears, the uncontrolled effervescence that had fallen from grace among his compatriots after he made disparaging remarks about Smetana.

With JENUFA he is now in danger of isolating himself musically and stylistically. Which composer remained - as if Wagner had never existed - still arrested in arias and repeated phrases? Who combined these so naturally with the newly emerging veristic forms? It was also unusual that Janácek composed the work on a prose text - Gabriela Preissovás Její pastorkyna [Your Pulling Daughter] - always in an effort to penetrate to the core of his characters, to painstakingly depict their character, their individual language rhythm. To sketch the speech melodies of his Moravian homeland was for him "drawing of music".

JENUFA had many detours to go until the merit was achieved. After its premiere in Brno in 1904, the opera was frequently modified and performed only a few times, in Prague only in 1916. Max Brod saw a performance in the Nationaltheater and subsequently wrote a flaming plea for the »Czech operatic happiness« in the Berlin Weltbühne. On the following Sunday, when Leos Janácek rang the writer's bed and persuaded him to translate JENUFA into German, this must have been his last hope, with the help of his well-known advocate, to interest a wider audience in the bold work. The plan worked: after performances in Vienna and Cologne in 1918, the Berlin premiere in 1924 followed. From here, the play went around the world.

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