, February 2016
The singing cast are all excellent, crowned by a spellbinding Kostelnička from Jennifer Larmore. For a start, she sings the role with genuine musicality…and she does so very beautifully at that. She is also electric to watch, twisting her face into contempt or resentment during the second act, while radiating authority in the first, and then being utterly crushed in the last. I haven’t seen as fine a Kostelnička since Anja Silja at Glyndebourne in 1989, and that’s high praise.
Michaela Kaune sings a glowing, beautiful Jenůfa. She is always completely sympathetic, beautiful in her prayers and her evocation of the child in the second act, and you wonder how on earth Števa could resist her pleading in the first.
The orchestral playing is really outstanding, too. Captured in HD surround sound, every detail emerges from the rippling xylophone of the mill wheel to the glorious burst of C major that ends the opera—and which is staged with beautifully simple understatement. The orchestra are brilliantly incisive to accompany the Kostelnička’s spat out threats of the second act, but the strings also manage a sound of beauty for the music associated with the baby. Runnicles, too, directs the piece with total conviction, bringing the authority of the Music Director in his own theatre. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review