DIARY OF ONE WHO DISAPPEARED, Janáček, Grimeborn

The poems which inspired the mysterious song cycle Diary of One Who Disappeared first appeared anonymously published in a newspaper in May 1916. They immediately caught the eye of composer Leos Janáček, who completed this song cycle by 1920. The poems, eventually attributed to Ozef Kalda, tell the story of a young man who falls in love…

Pain and purity: Janáček’s Jenůfa at Longborough

Among the many operas in the canon thrumming with drama and violence, Jenůfa remains notably dark, shocking in its bleak brutality, barely relieved by a final discovery of true love which only comes to the shattered characters at an appalling price. Consequently, Jenůfa presents a real challenge for directors, because if the tension drops for even a few seconds…

Season preview for Culture Whisper: Glyndebourne 2016

Melly Still’s magical production of Janáček‘s The Cunning Little Vixen (revival, 2012) is back, the only opera I know to have been born from a comic strip. Still’s vision balances a fine naturalistic sense with elements of Eastern European folktale and cartoon to deliver a world of animals bursting with colour, while humans exist in monochrome…