sun 18/02/2018

From the House of the Dead, Opera North | reviews, news & interviews

From the House of the Dead, Opera North

From the House of the Dead, Opera North

Janáček goes to Dostoevsky's Siberia in a compelling production

'From the House of the Dead': How do you make an opera set in a Siberian prison camp visually thrilling?Alastair Muir

Janáček’s stark Prelude is a stunner: there’s no conventional beginning, no conventional thematic development; it simply starts, as if a light switch has been flicked on, and the baleful opening theme is distorted, repeated, squeezed until it leads into an extraordinary stretch of solo violin writing. Based on Dostoevsky’s novel,  Janáček’s final opera isn’t a faithful adaptation – it’s a selection of loosely linked scenes spread over three concise acts.

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