The Royal Opera continues its series of Janáček operas with the first production of Jenůfa at Covent Garden since 2001, by award-winning director Claus Guth. Janáček movingly captures Jenůfa’s progression from hope to despair to eventual radiant happiness, while her stepmother, the Kostelnička, is one of opera’s most complex maternal figures. The two courageous women struggle for fulfilment against the backdrop of a claustrophobic rural community.
Asmik Grigorian as Jenůfa in her Royal Opera House debut and Karita Mattila as the Kostelnička lead a star cast with Hungarian conductor Henrik Nánási conducting a stunning score infused with traditional folk melodies of Janáček’s native Moravia.
Contains moderate violence. Jenůfa features flashing lights.
Generous philanthropic support from
Julia and Hans Rausing, Hamish and Sophie Forsyth and Simon and Virginia Robertson
Watch on ROH Stream from Friday 15 October 2021.
Jenůfa is keeping secret from everyone that she is pregnant by Števa, who drinks and is a womaniser. Jenůfa’s stepmother, the Kostelnička, had a violent, alcoholic husband and tells Števa he won’t be allowed to marry Jenůfa unless he stays sober for a year. Števa’s overbearing behaviour towards Jenůfa angers Laca, who loves Jenůfa and is jealous. When Jenůfa defends Števa, Laca becomes enraged. They struggle and he slashes her face with a knife.
Months later, the Kostelnička and Jenůfa conspire to keep the birth of Jenůfa’s illegitimate baby secret. Števa knows he has a son, but refuses to marry Jenůfa now her face is disfigured. Laca offers to save Jenůfa’s reputation and marry her, but is reluctant to take on Števa’s child. The Kostelnička tells both Laca and Jenůfa that the baby died while Jenůfa slept. But on Jenůfa’s wedding day the truth is revealed.
There is lift access and step-free seating to most levels of the Main Stage auditorium, except the Orchestra Stalls, which are reached by a minimum of nine steps. There are more than 100 seats in the Stalls Circle, Balcony and Amphitheatre which are accessible without the need to negotiate steps. In addition, many seats in these areas and in the Donald Gordon Grand Tier and Orchestra Stalls are accessible by 10 steps or fewer. Find out more about accessing the Main Stage Auditorium.
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