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Jenufa - A First For New Zealand

Issued by The NBR New Zealand Opera

14 July 2008

A First For New Zealand

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“This is music theatre as potent as you will ever see”
[Jenůfa, Glyndebourne Festival, Aug 2004 – The Observer]

“A formidable experience, at once harrowing and ennobling”
[Jenůfa, Glyndebourne Festival, Aug 2004 – The Guardian]

“An interpretation of searing force” [Jenůfa, Glyndebourne Festival, Aug 2004 – The Telegraph]

Glyndebourne – the name is synonymous with pedigree and perfection. The quality of Glyndebourne Festival productions is unsurpassed; they set the benchmark to which opera companies around the world aspire. Now, for the first time, New Zealand audiences can experience a Glyndebourne production in this country when The NBR New Zealand Opera, with significant sponsorship from Genesis Energy, brings the widely acclaimed production of Jenůfa to Auckland in September and Wellington in October.

Composed in 1904 by Czech composer Leoš Janáček, Jenůfa is driven by strong female characters. It’s a gripping tale, a powerful statement of loss and redemption; raw and harrowing, yet compassionate and uplifting, and as relevant to today’s audiences as it was to those a hundred years ago.

General Director of The NBR New Zealand Opera, Aidan Lang says, “We are immensely proud to be collaborating with such a distinguished company and presenting, for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere, this exemplary Glyndebourne Festival production of Jenůfa by the internationally renowned director Nikolaus Lehnhoff. And we mean to do it justice. We’ve secured a stellar cast, headed by Anne Sophie Duprels as Jenůfa, Tom Randle as Laca, and Margaret Medlyn as the Kostelnička; we recently brought out the UK’s top Czech voice coach to work with the singers on the language; and the orchestras in Auckland and Wellington are going to extra lengths to fully acquaint themselves with the intricacies of Janáček’s music.”

This production of Jenůfa is a masterpiece of construction and is considered one of the jewels in Glyndebourne’s repertoire crown. It has helped bring the genius of Janáček to the world and see him placed as one of the truly great opera composers of the 20th century.

“Janacek was a glorious one-off,” Lang says, “and with the virtue of hindsight it is clear that his musical language and dramaturgy were way ahead of their time. In tragedy he finds hope, in death he finds renewal. He never judges his characters but stands outside and, however dreadful their actions, views them with compassion and understanding, so they in turn touch our hearts.

“This production of Jenůfa has great depth and packs a phenomenal emotional punch, ”Lang adds, “and I have no doubt will deliver an unforgettable theatrical and musical experience.”

The NBR New Zealand Opera’s Genesis Energy Spring Season of Jenůfa

Opera in Three Acts by Leoš Janáček; Libretto by the Composer from a story by Gabriella Preissová
Glyndebourne Festival production

Conductor Wyn Davies
Director Nikolaus Lehnhoff
Restage Director Ashley Dean
Designer Tobias Hoheisel
Lighting Designer Paul Hastie

Jenůfa Anne Sophie Duprels
Kostelnička Margaret Medlyn
Laca Tom Randle
Števa Jamie Allen
Grandmother Buryjovká Helen Medlyn
Foreman John Antoniou
Karolka Kate Lineham+
Mayor Richard Green
Mayor’s Wife Carmel Carroll
Barena Julia Booth*
Jano Emma Roxburgh+
Maid Susie Ewart+

With the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus

Accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the Vector Wellington Orchestra

*PWC Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist; +The NBR New Zealand Opera Resident Artist

Sung in Czech with English surtitles, The NBR New Zealand Opera’s Genesis Energy Spring Season of Jenůfa opens in Auckland on Saturday 20 September and in Wellington on Saturday 11 October.
The Genesis Energy Spring Season of Jenůfa
AUCKLAND – Aotea Centre, THE EDGE®
Sat 20, Thu 25 and Sat 27 September (7:30pm), Tue 23 September (6:30pm)

WELLINGTON – St James Theatre
Sat 11, Thu 16 and Sat 18 October (7:30pm), Tue 14 October (6:00pm)

Single Tickets: $49.50 to $159.50; Concessions available. Service fees apply.

Bookings: Ticketek outlets nationwide, Tel 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or Bookings also at The NBR NZ Opera Box Office: Tel (09) 379 4068 or Tel (04) 499 8343.
Further information at

The NBR New Zealand Opera receives core funding from Creative New Zealand.

The Spring Season of Jenůfa is sponsored by Genesis Energy.


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