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Jenufa

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Nina Stemme, Eva Marton, Victoria Cortez, Jorma Silvasti, and Par Lindskog star in this Gran Teatre del Liceu production of the Janacek opera conducted by Peter Schneider and directed by Olivier Tambosi.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Czech (Dolby Digital 5.1), Czech (DTS 5.1), Czech (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041UG6AI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,600 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A good new Jenufa was urgently needed, as the Glyndebourne version was very disappointing from Nikolaus Lehnoff (director of a masterly Kát'a Kabanová with Nancy Gustaffson in the title role). In his production there was a strange addition to the ending - the villagers wrecked the Kostelnicka's house in the final bars, totally destroying the upbeat mood of the music as Laca and Jenufa decide to join their lives together; and this reviewer was, I confess, quite unable to cope with 'colour-blind' casting - a black Jenufa in a Moravian 1890s village otherwise composed of Caucasians struck a strange note.

So to the present DVD, a production originally from the Hamburg State Opera but filmed on revival at the Gran Teatre de Liceu in 2005. The singing and acting is of a very high level throughout; all four principals are outstanding both as singers and as actors - Nina Stemme in the title role, Eva Marton as the Kostelnicka (every scene involving either of these two women, which is most of the opera, was riveting); Jorma Silvasti as Laca and Pär Lindskog as Steva.

There are two problems with this DVD, but I don't think either should put you off buying it. First Peter Schneider conducts a powerful reading of the score; but he is hampered by using the now discredited Dürr edition, which incorporates most of the reorchestrations which were forced on Janacek as a condition of having Jenufa produced at the National Theatre in Prague in 1916. To hear Janacek's original score in all its raw (and uncut) power, you have to go to the Decca CDs conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras.

Secondly, Olivier Tambosi is one of those directors with an idée fixe!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
... or the first great opera of the 20th? Leos Janacek's "Jenufa" has a fair claim to both titles, the one indisputable quality being its greatness. It's Janacek's most passionate and dramatic opera, with an integration of vocal and orchestral music into a symphonic wholeness that exposes the Czech composer's theoretical indebtedness to Wagner. That, and its pious/perfunctory allusions to Christian salvation, are its 19th C attributes. The bold sexual explicitness of its libretto, written by the composer himself, and the even bolder chromaticisms and dissonances of its orchestration, are its claims to modernism. Janacek composed "Jenufa" in bits and pieces throughout the 1890s, but the work's originality was too strange for the opera company of Prague, which rejected it. It was premiered in Brno in 1904, and only later in Prague and Vienna, in a version trimmed and re-orchestrated by the music director Karel Kovaroivich. Thereafter, like all of Janacek's operas, it suffered neglect for decades. Proper recognition of Leos Janacek's stature has been tardy, but today five of his operas are staged regularly and triumphantly on every major operatic stage of Europe and North America: Jenufa, Katia Kabaonova (1921), The Cunning Little Vixen (1924), The Makropoulos Case (1926), and The House of the Dead (1927). Excellent performances of all five are available at last on DVD.

Jenufa is a tale of seduction, jealousy, abandonment, and infanticide, set in a quiet country village in Moravia. This production, by the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona, maintains the folkloric ambience demanded by both the libretto and the music, in costuming and dramaturgy though the physical sets are minimal and symbolic.
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Format: DVD
I disagree with the reviewer of this Jenufa. The staging, singing, and dramatic portrayal are all excellent in the Jenufa with Silja and Alexander.
Alexander gives a powerful and sympathetic portrayal of Jenufa and her singing is outstanding. This is the Jenufa to buy.
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