Mike Vickers' Blog

Janufa by Scottish Opera

Last evening we went to Scottish Opera’s Jenufa by Janacek

Completely new to us but it turned out to be one of the best for a long time.

You can find a short synopsis on Wiki. The director had transported the scene from Central Europe to Ireland. I could see why because the audience would have a more concrete vision of Catholic Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century.

Anyway that’s not the point – it’s more to do with the quality of the singing and the orchestra – the conductor was Stuart Stratford and the orchestra was the largest opera orchestra that I have seen Scottish Opera employ – excellently balanced with the singing. Jenufa was sung by a Scot, Lee Bisset, and had a glorious voice but the star as far as we considered was Jenufa’s step mother, Kostelnička, played by Kathryn Harries, a major part, – not only did she sing beautifully but she played the role with real depth.

After the event I have looked up at Kathryn Harries on the web. The official site shows that she has sung the step mother many times and at the most glamorous of places so we were obviously honour that she had come to Scottish Opera. She also has her own website


There you will see that 30 years Harries walked from John O’Groats to Lands End raising £700,000 in the process.  A versatile lady.

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