, May 2012
Bolton…brings a marvelous ability to find the exquisite, emotional beauty in Janacek’s verismo score.
More than anything on this interesting DVD, I will remember the heart-wrenching violins. From the tremolos that begin Act II to the fragile solo that emerges from the sturm und drang of Kostelnicka’s exit to murder the baby, Bolton uses these moments of surpassing delicacy and beauty to a deeply touching effect.
…Jenufa is a deeply moving and jarring operatic experience.
The quality of Bolton’s conducting (and playing by the Orchestra of Teatro Real Madrid) is matched by a marvelously simple production from Stephane Braunschweig, serving as both stage director and set designer.
The sets, costumes by Thibault Vancraenenbroeck, and stark lighting by Marion Hewlitt work together synergistically to focus our attention where it should be—not on spectacle or effects, but on the human interactions of the characters.
This is also a fascinatingly understated production. There seems to be a conscious attempt here to flatten the more melodramatic moments and make them more naturalistic, and…it works. There is an Ibsen-like feel to the production, which gives the few moments of real vocal histrionics even more power.
Ms. Polaski is…in extremely good voice here, pure toned throughout the range and without a trace of wobble…I found great pleasure in this portrayal of a real, three-dimensional woman…
British soprano Amanda Roocroft is a lovely…Jenufa, sung and acted with great sensitivity and emotional power. She moves effortlessly through Jenufa’s path…Her singing is mostly quite lovely, especially in pianos and in the middle voice. She can float high notes beautifully as well…
Schukoff’s reedy tenor is well focused and he sings with admirable tone and variety. As the hapless Laca, Miroslav Dvorsky brings a passionate and powerful dramatic tenor to the role…he brings great heart to the role, and the final reconciliation duet with Jenufa is very touching.
…Marta Ubieta finds much personality and style as Steva’s new fiancé, Karolka.
Overall, I found this production extremely interesting and moving…it’s a fascinating “take” on Jenufa, dramatically and musically riveting. © 2012 Parterre Box Read complete review