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James H. North
Fanfare, November 2016

From Graz comes the most beautifully sung, the most dramatic Jenůfa I’ve ever encountered, live or on disc. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review



new-classics.co.uk, November 2016

The outstanding German mezzo soprano Iris Vermillion takes the role of the Sacristan Buryja in this recording, with Dirk Kaftan conducting the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir of the Graz Opera. The excellent cast also includes Dunja Vejzović as stern Old Buryja, Aleš Briscein as Laca Klemen and Gal James is very moving as the vain and impulsive young beauty Jenůfa. Janácek’s brilliant score incorporates folk melodies and adds greatly to the story. © 2016 new-classics.co.uk Read complete review



Charles H Parsons
American Record Guide, March 2016

The singing is exquisite. There is plenty of vocal beauty even in the most dramatic moments. Gal’s Jenufa is youthful and tragic. She floats the most gentle, delicate pianissimos, particularly in Jenufa’s Act 2 prayer. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



James H. North
Fanfare, January 2016

[James] is an ideal Jenůfa, her voice light and sweet yet warm and full when called for, her dramatic sensibilities finely tuned. That first high note in her opening aria will melt your heart… © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, August 2015

Many performances of Jenůfa are understandably defined by their Kostelničkas, but Oper Graz found in Israeli soprano Gal James a Jenůfa capable of holding her own opposite a first-rate Kostelnička. With her fresh, youthful timbre and incisive dramatic instincts, James is an uncommonly engaging Jenůfa, one who is audibly a different woman after being disfigured by Laca’s blade and again after learning of her child’s death.

Performances of Jenůfa are often dramatically enthralling, but only the best of them are as musically rewarding as this recording from Oper Graz. In truth, few performances of any opera devote as much attention to fulfilling the composer’s musical requirements as the cast of this recording of Jenůfa expend in their account of Janáček’s fascinating score. © 2015 Voix des Arts Read complete review



John Warrack
Gramophone, August 2015

…Gal James [is] a beautiful Jenůfa, appealing in her predicament, caught painfully between her rival suitors, capable of a full lyrical outburst at the end. Taylan Reinhard delivers an impassioned Števa; Ales Briscein is a Laca who grows in stature to establish his right to Jenůfa’s affections. There is a lively Karolka from Tatjana Miyus, and a stuffy old Grandmother from Dunja Vejzović. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Dominy Clements
MusicWeb International, June 2015

…cast is good, with the main characters all strong enough and mostly well characterised. Recorded live, this Graz recording is very much a theatre version as you would expect…

Gal James is very good…and deeply affecting in crucial moments such as Scene 6 in Act 2 where, all alone, Jenůfa sings of her baby as yet oblivious to the unfolding tragedy. The Stepmother’s anguished cry towards the end is truly chilling, and stands as an emblem for the admirably realistic approach in this production—one you can add to your collection with confidence. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review





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