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James H. North
Fanfare, September 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

All the singers are superb; choices among them will be merely personal. I do prefer Charles Workman’s warm, ringing Skuratov to Boulez’s John Mark Ainsley, whom I praised so highly in Fanfare 32:1. As Šiškov, Bo Skovhus is a devastatingly effective actor.

The Bavarian State Orchestra is powerful and colorful… © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review



Fred Cohn
Opera News, August 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

Patrice Chéreau’s stark, taut 2009 Met production of From the House of the Dead masterfully illuminated a great, difficult work. The director’s approach was imaginative and inventive, but even his most surprising ideas revealed both the action of Janáček’s opera and its inner spirit.

Gorianchikov provides the opera with its closest approximation of a through line; Peter Rose is consistently touching in the role, especially in his farewell to Aljeja, his friend. Under Simone Young, Janáček’s haunted sound-world emerges only fitfully. © 2020 Opera News Read complete review



Allan Altman
American Record Guide, July 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

…Castorf presents a remarkably coherent and unified concept that supports the powerful monologs that form the core of the opera. Bo Skovhus (Siskov), Charles Workman (Skuratov), and Ales Briscein (Luka) shine in their solos. But, truth to tell, Castorf raises the entire ensemble, including every chorus member and supernumerary, to a breathtaking level of theatrical commitment.

…Simone Young’s direction of the mighty forces of the Bavarian State Opera here is magnificent… © 2020 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, May 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

All of the soloists in this production are first-rate. Indeed, it would be difficult to single out any one in particular over another. The orchestra is also wonderful and recorded more closely than in the Boulez account, allowing one to savour the wonderful instrumental parts, especially the horns. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Jim Westhead
MusicWeb International, May 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

…I must say how good the principals are as actors. This applies to Bo Skovhus as Siškov, Peter Rose as Gorjančikov, Christian Rieger (camp governor), Callum Thorpe (Don Juan), Aleš Briscein (luka) and particularly to the dramatic virtuosity of Charles Workman as Skuratov.

…They are supported by the excellent playing of the Bavarian State Orchestra under Simone Young. The stage is well lit, providing an excellent view of the imaginative rotating prisoner camp, and the sound quality is excellent. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review



John Allison
BBC Music Magazine, May 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

Performance: 
Picture & Sound: 

The humanity is in the music, of course, and especially here in Simone Young’s interpretation, softer-edged than some but lacking nothing in theatrical flow. Standing out from an excellent cast are Bo Skovhus’s powerful Šiškov, his body and face covered in sores, and Peter Rose’s compassionate Gorjancikov, the political prisoner whose arrival and departure frame the action. Evgeniya Sotnikova sings warmly as Aljeja—dressed in feathers as an exotic dancer to double as the eagle in one of the production’s cleverer ideas. © 2020 BBC Music Magazine



Dean Frey
Music for Several Instruments, March 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

A post-modern pastiche redeemed by music

The Munich production shines in this regard. Simone Young’s conducting of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester and Chorus is outstanding; the music is taut and naturally evolving… The singing, and within Castorf’s limits, the acting, of the principals is marvellous. Evgeniya Sotnikova is outstanding as Aljeja in her various guises, while standouts in the otherwise all-male cast include Peter Rose, Ales Briscein and Charles Workman. I believe this production will improve each time I watch it; there’s no doubt in my mind, though, that this is one of the greatest operas ever written. © 2020 Music for Several Instruments Read complete review



Matthew Whitfield
The WholeNote, March 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

The Staatsoper soloists, chorus and orchestra are superb throughout this short yet intense work, conveying the depth and darkness of the score without once coming across as melodramatic. One of the 20th century’s most profound and significant operatic composers, Janáček displays his mastery in full force in From the House of the Dead, and this production is highly recommended to all who enjoy this Czech master’s works. © 2020 The WholeNote Read complete review



Lark Reviews, March 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

…The musical side is impressive with Peter Rose outstanding as Gorjancikov, but supported by a fine cast of singers who can act with intelligence. © 2020 Lark Reviews Read complete review



Robert Cummings
MusicWeb International, March 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

The singing is excellent. Bo Skovhus is brilliant: his Third Act account of Šiškov’s killing is arguably the dramatic highlight of the opera.

Simone Young and the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra deliver a vital, spirited performance of the music, and the chorus turns in splendid work as well. Conductor Young employs very lively but not hasty tempos, and her deft phrasing otherwise captures the pointed character of Janáček’s imaginative writing. She fully grasps his style and draws the most from this fine score. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Rafael de Acha
Rafael’s Music Notes, March 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

The cast and the marvelous Simone Young in the pit leading the superb Bayerische Staatsoper orchestra must be saluted for their endurance and for maintaining their dignity in spite of all the directorial nonsense. Among the more than twenty named roles, veteran bass Peter Rose is a standout, as is the Czech dramatic tenor Aleš Briscein, who manages to make his mother tongue, beset as it is with consonant clusters sound lyrical, when not dealing with the parlando setting of much of the text.  © 2020 Rafael's Music Notes Read complete review



Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, March 2020

JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (NTSC) BAC173
JANÁČEK, L.: From the House of the Dead [Opera] (Bavarian State Opera, 2018) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) BAC573

This performance is from the Bavarian State Opera recorded in June 2018 conducted by the remarkable Simone Young. Stage direction is by Frank Castorf, costumes are by Adriana Braga Peretzki (her costume for the wounded eagle is spectacular). The cast is uniformly superb. This is a masterpiece operaphiles surely should investigate. © 2020 ClassicalCDReview.com Read complete review





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