The final opera in the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 43rd Festival Season, Janáček’s Jenůfa, airs as part of Iowa Public Radio’s Arias in April broadcast series. IPR will broadcast Jenůfa on Saturday, April 16 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 at 11:00 p.m.
This tragic tale and rare musical gem is set in a Moravian village in the late 19th century. Jenůfa learns that although her beloved Števa was not drafted into the military, her stepmother Kostelnička has forbidden their marriage unless Števa can maintain a year of sobriety. Jenůfa is already with child. Kostelnička murders the child in secret so that Laca, Števa’s stepbrother, will marry Jenůfa. The role of Jenůfa is sung by soprano Sara Gartland, with soprano Brenda Harris as Kostelnička Buryjovka and mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle as Grandmother Buryjovka.