Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) tickets 23 January 2025 - Jenufa | GoComGo.com

Jenufa

Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), London, Great Britain
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7 PM
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US$ 110

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

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If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: London, Great Britain
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 3
Intervals: 2
Duration: 2h 55min
Sung in: Czech
Titles in: English

E-tickets: Print at home or at the box office of the event if so specified. You will find more information in your booking confirmation email.

You can only select the category, and not the exact seats.
If you order 2 or 3 tickets: your seats will be next to each other.
If you order 4 or more tickets: your seats will be next to each other, or, if this is not possible, we will provide a combination of groups of seats (at least in pairs, for example 2+2 or 2+3).

Cast
Performers
Conductor: Jakub Hrůša
Soprano: Karita Mattila (Kostelnička Buryjovka)
Tenor: Nicky Spence (Laca Klemen)
Soprano: Corinne Winters (Jenufa)
Mezzo-Soprano: Hanna Schwarz (Grandmother Buryjovka)
Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Chorus: Royal Opera Chorus
Tenor: Thomas Atkins (Steva Buryja)
Creators
Composer: Leoš Janáček
Director: Claus Guth
Writer: Gabriela Preissová
Costume designer: Gesine Völlm
Light: James Farncombe
Librettist: Leoš Janáček
Sets: Michael Levine
Video designer: rocafilm
Choreography: Teresa Rotemberg
Opera Company: The Royal Opera
Dramaturge: Yvonne Gebauer
Overview

Jenůfa is pregnant but her stepmother wants a different life for her – and will pursue it at any cost. Jakub Hruša conducts Claus Guth’s Olivier award-winning production of Janáček’s Jenůfa. A gripping opera of shame, betrayal and redemption

Jenůfa is keeping secret from everyone that she is pregnant by Števa, whom she loves despite his drinking and womanising. Jenůfa’s stepmother, the Kostelnička, had a violent, alcoholic husband and tells Števa he won’t be allowed to marry Jenůfa unless he stays sober for a year. Števa’s overbearing behaviour towards Jenůfa angers Laca, who loves Jenůfa and is jealous. When Jenůfa defends Števa, Laca becomes enraged. They struggle and he slashes her face with a knife.  

Months later, the Kostelnička and Jenůfa conspire to keep the birth of Jenůfa’s illegitimate baby secret. Števa knows he has a son, but refuses to marry Jenůfa now her face is disfigured. Laca offers to save Jenůfa’s reputation and marry her, but is reluctant to take on Števa’s child. The Kostelnička tells both Laca and Jenůfa that the baby died while Jenůfa slept. But on Jenůfa’s wedding day the terrible truth is revealed.

BACKGROUND
Corinne Winters (Jenůfa) and Karita Mattila (the Kostelnička) lead in Janáček’s evocative opera with a score that is infused with traditional folk melodies of the composer’s native Moravia. Music Director Designate Jakub Hruša conducts Claus Guth’s staging which is an ‘edgy, evocative’ (Telegraph) take on this poignant domestic drama.

THE MUSIC OF JENŮFA 
Janáček’s folk-inspired music movingly captures Jenůfa’s progression from hope to despair to eventual radiant happiness, while her stepmother, the Kostelnička, is one of opera’s most complex maternal figures. Writer Nigel Simeone describes the unique structure of Janáček's stirring music as such: ‘Every character has his or her own musical language, and Janáček sets down a pattern that will serve him for all of his mature operas. A theme, often as short as four notes, dominates each scene [of the opera] but then gives way to another, equally memorable'.  

WHAT IS A KOSTELNIČKA?  
Jenůfa's stepmother is referred throughout Janáček’s opera as ‘the Kostelnička’, a title given to a village church-warden or elder. Initially presenting as a strong matriarch who is fiercely protective of Jenůfa, the Kostelnička has one of the more dramatic – and dark – character transformations across opera. As Jenůfa's future is turned increasingly precarious by her illegitimate child, the Kostelnička’s maternal instinct morphs into obsessive determination... In a small, stifling community, how far must a mother go to protect her child?

History
Premiere of this production: 21 January 1904, National Theatre, Brno

Jenůfa ("Her Stepdaughter" in Czech) is an opera in three acts by Leoš Janáček to a Czech libretto by the composer, based on the play Její pastorkyňa by Gabriela Preissová. It was first performed at the National Theatre, Brno on 21 January 1904. Composed between 1896 and 1902, it is among the first operas written in prose.

Synopsis

Place:  A Moravian village
Time: the nineteenth century

The plot depends on a tangled set of village relationships. Before the opera begins, the mill-owner Grandmother Buryja's two sons have both married twice, fathered children, and died. Their wives have also died, except for the Kostelnička (widow of the churchwarden), the younger son's second wife and Jenůfa's stepmother. Custom dictates that only Števa, the elder son's child by his first marriage, will inherit the mill, leaving his half-brother Laca and cousin Jenůfa to earn their livings.

Act 1

Jenůfa, Laca, and Grandmother Buryja wait for Števa to return home. Jenůfa, in love with Števa and secretly pregnant with his child, worries that he may have been drafted into the army. Laca, in love with Jenůfa, expresses bitterness against his half-brother's favored position at home. As he complains he plays with a knife and, finding it blunt, gives it to the mill foreman to be sharpened.

The foreman informs the family that Števa has not been drafted, to Jenůfa's relief and Laca's increased frustration. The others leave, and Jenůfa waits to greet Števa. He appears with a group of soldiers, drunk and boasting of his prowess with the girls. He calls for music and drags the miserable Jenůfa into dancing with him.

Then Kostelnička steps into this rowdy scene, silences the musicians and, shocked by Števa's behavior, forbids him to marry Jenůfa until he can stay sober for one full year. The soldiers and the family leave Števa and Jenůfa alone, and she begs him to love her, but he, unaware of her pregnancy, gives her casual answers and leaves.

Laca returns, as bitter as ever. He attempts to goad Jenůfa into criticizing Števa, but she takes her lover's side despite everything. Laca rages that Števa would never even look at her if it weren't for her rosy cheeks, then slashes her across the cheek with his knife.

Act 2

Months later, it is winter. The baby has been born, but Števa has not yet come to visit his child. Jenůfa's face is still disfigured, but she is happy in her love for the baby. While Jenůfa sleeps, the Kostelnička summons Števa and demands that he take responsibility. He answers that while he will provide money in secret, no one must know the baby is his. His love for Jenůfa died when Laca spoiled her beauty, and he is now engaged to marry Karolka, the mayor's pretty daughter.

Števa leaves, and Laca enters. He still doesn't know the truth about the baby, and when the Kostelnička tells him, his first reaction is disgust at the thought of taking Števa's child under his wing. Fearful that Jenůfa will be left with no one to marry, Kostelnička hastily lies that the baby is dead. Laca leaves, and the Kostelnička is faced with the necessity of making the lie true. She wraps the baby in a shawl and leaves the house.

Jenůfa wakes up and says a prayer for her child's future, but the Kostelnička, returning, tells her that the baby died while she slept. Laca appears and comforts Jenůfa gently, asking that they spend the rest of their lives together. Seeing the tenderness of the couple, the Kostelnička tries to convince herself that she has acted for the best.

Act 3

It is now spring, and Laca and Jenůfa's wedding day. All seems right again, except that the Kostelnička is a nervous wreck. Števa and Karolka visit, and a chorus of village girls sings a wedding song. Just then, screams are heard. The body of the baby has been discovered in the mill-stream under the melting ice. Jenůfa immediately says that the baby is hers, and in her grief appears guilty of the murder. The village is ready to exact immediate justice against Jenůfa, but the Kostelnička calms them and says that the crime is hers. Hearing the whole story, Jenůfa forgives her stepmother. The crowd takes the Kostelnička off to jail. Jenůfa and Laca are left alone. Jenůfa asks Laca to leave her, as she cannot expect him to marry her now. He replies that he will not leave her, and that he wishes to spend the rest of his life with her.

Venue Info

Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) - London
Location   Bow St, Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House (ROH) is an opera house and major performing arts venue in London and Great Britain. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later, Handel's first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there.

The current building is the third theatre on the site following disastrous fires in 1808 and 1856. The façade, foyer, and auditorium date from 1858, but almost every other element of the present complex dates from an extensive reconstruction in the 1990s. The main auditorium seats 2,256 people, making it the third largest in London, and consists of four tiers of boxes and balconies and the amphitheatre gallery. The proscenium is 12.20 m wide and 14.80 m high. The main auditorium is a Grade I listed building.

The Royal Opera, under the direction of Antonio Pappano, is one of the world’s leading opera companies. Based in the iconic Covent Garden theatre, it is renowned both for its outstanding performances of traditional opera and for commissioning new works by today’s leading opera composers, such as Harrison Birtwistle, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Thomas Adès.

The Royal Ballet is one of the world’s greatest ballet companies. Under the directorship of Kevin O’Hare, the Company unites tradition and innovation in world-class performances at our Covent Garden home.

The Company’s extensive repertory embraces 19th-century classics, the singular legacy of works by Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and Principal Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan and a compelling new canon by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon.

The Orchestra performs in concerts of their own, including performances at the Royal Opera House with Antonio Pappano. They have also performed at venues worldwide including Symphony Hall (Birmingham), Cadogan Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus and on tour with The Royal Opera.

Members of the Orchestra play an active role in events across the Royal Opera House, including working with the Learning and Participation teams. The Orchestra accompanies performances that are streamed all over the world, including through cinema screenings and broadcasts. They appear on many CDs and DVDs including Pappano’s acclaimed studio recording of Tristan und Isolde with Plácido Domingo and Nina Stemme.

The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House was founded in 1946 when the Royal Opera House reopened after World War II.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: London, Great Britain
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 3
Intervals: 2
Duration: 2h 55min
Sung in: Czech
Titles in: English
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