William R. Braun
, May 2013
In most of the audio recordings made of Jenůfa over the years, not all of the four principal roles are beautifully sung…but in the present video recording, made at Sweden’s Malmö Opera in 2011, all four principals sing admirably. (As a bonus, even elderly Grandmother Buryja, played by Ingrid Tobiasson, sings with fine tone.)
Swedish–American soprano Erika Sunnegårdh…gives a fully rounded portrayal of Jenůfa…Gitta-Maria Sjöberg, as the Kostelnička, is no one-dimensional villainess in voice or demeanor; this is one of the best-sung versions of this character on recordings. The strenuous tenor role of Laca seems hardly strenuous at all for Daniel Frank, a romantic, fine-toned singer.
There is, of course, a production attached to this excellent performance of the music. It is by and large a straightforward one, staged by Irish director Orpha Phelan and naturalistically acted with recognizable human behavior, albeit performed on an Expressionistic set by Leslie Travers. © 2013 Opera News Read complete review