The Kostelnicka's entry in Act 1 of 'Jenufa'. L eft to right, Steva (Edgar Evans), Kostelnicka (Sylvia Fisher), Jenufa (Amy Shuard)
'- J enufa ' at Covent Garden by Desmond Shawe-Taylor By the time these words appear, seven of the eight performances of Janacek's Jenufa scheduled for the present season wilt have taken place; I hope that this important new production, which is to be included in the company's provincial tour, will be allowed gradually to find its own level within the repertory by being given at least once or twice a month, or more often if the demand justifies it.
I stress this because I am convinced that Jenufa is a masterpiece, capable of providing an illuminating extension of experience for thousands of opera-goers-once they have brought themselves to take the serious step of trying something unfamiliar. As we all know, that is the trouble ; it is very rare for a new or novel kind of opera to catch on quickly, unless the entire press has thundered out the fact of its goodness and beauty. This has not happened with Jenufa, as was to be foreseen. Comment has been respectful-no more-where ten or twenty years ago it would probably have been disrespectful. Mr Ernest Newman