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Janáček, Jenůfa, Elisabeth Söderström, Eva Randová, Vienna Philharmonic, Charles Mackerras
Janáček, Jenůfa, Karita Mattila, Anja Silja, Covent Garden, Bernard Haitink (2004)
Alex Ross | An Unamplified Voice | My Favorite Intermissions
It's a dark, troubling opera -- verismo but without the kitsch -- which Washingtonians will also have a chance to see on the stage, in a new production at Washington National Opera in May. (Edward Seckerson reviewed the Alden staging for The Independent when it premiered at English National Opera last fall.) Although the David Alden staging will be visually quite different, there is some musical overlap, beginning most importantly with the conductor, Jiří Bělohlávek. The Met and WNO have also cast the same Števa, Raymond Very (not all performances at the Met), and the same Laca (Kim Begley -- except, for whatever reason, at last night's premiere), but the female leads are all different: Patricia Racette (Jenůfa), Judith Christin (Grandmother Buryjovka), and Catherine Malfitano (the Kostelnička -- she sang the role at ENO and was greatly admired by Seckerson).
Only five performances remain at the Met, all with tickets still available. The Saturday afternoon radio broadcast of Jenůfa from the Met is scheduled for February 17, at 1:30 pm, the final performance of the run.