Arrow down iconArrow left iconArrow right iconArrow up iconAudio iconBasket iconClose iconDocument iconExclamation mark iconMenu iconPhoto iconQuotation markQuote iconTick iconUser icon

From the House of the Dead

Janáček’s great and final work receives its Royal Opera premiere in a hard-hitting production directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of From the House of the Dead. It was last on stage 7–24 March 2018 as part of the Spring 2017/18 season.

Introduction

With the arrival of a new prisoner, fellow inmates tell their stories.

Background

From the House of the Dead is Janáček’s final work and arguably his most powerful. Completed just before his death and first performed posthumously in 1930, the opera is based on Dostoyevsky’s semi-autobiographical novel describing life in a Siberian gulag. Janáček does not soften that harsh reality at the heart of his tale, but imbues the work with compassion in its honest depiction of humanity’s difficult truths. The result is one of his most humane and inspiring creations.

Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski is one of the leading lights in modern opera, acclaimed for his psychologically acute, impassioned and often spectacular productions. Warlikowski sets the story in an all-male modern prison, to explore the savagery of prison life. The absence of women means they become the focus of the inmates’s thoughts, and extreme emotions erupt in casual cruelty and scenes of sexual violence. With a team of regular collaborators, Warlikowski makes his UK debut directing The Royal Opera’s first production of Janáček’s masterpiece.

News and features